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It showed that 64 countries cut their emissions between 2016 and 2019, mainly through using renewable energy and reducing energy use. But the average annual cuts of 0.16 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide achieved by these countries are only 10 percent of the 1 to 2 billion tonnes of reductions needed each year to tackle climate change.
Professor Corinne Le Quere, from UAE’s School of Environmental Sciences, said: “Countries’ efforts to cut emissions are starting to pay off, but actions are not large-scale enough yet and emissions are still increasing in way too many countries. Now we need large-scale actions that are good for human health and good for the planet as well.”
The research showed that carbon emissions tumbled by up to 27 percent last year, mainly as a result of Covid lockdowns which led to people using less petrol and diesel for cars.
The 2.6 billion tonne cut in fossil fuel carbon emissions in 2020 was down seven percent on 2019 levels.
A cut of that size has never been seen before, the scientists said, but reductions of almost as much are needed every year throughout the 2020s and beyond to avoid exceeding the limits in the Paris Agreement.
The research, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, also showed that in 150 countries emissions rose between 2016 and 2019.
Cuts were achieved by high-income countries including the UK, which reduced its emissions by 3.6 percent a year on average.
China’s emissions increased by 0.4 percent, much less than the 6.2 percent annual growth of 2011-15.
Charles praises climate action
Prince Charles has praised the “global corporate response” to tackling climate change, writes Steph Spyro.
However, Charles, 72, said nature is at a “tipping point” and we all must act to help the planet.
In January, the Prince launched the Terra Carta, a “roadmap” guiding businesses towards a sustainable future.
The John Lewis Partnership is the first retailer to sign up.
Charles said: “I’ve been encouraged by the enthusiastic global corporate response to this call to action.
“There seems to be a real sense of the urgent necessity to act before it is too late.”
And writing in Waitrose Weekend, he added: “We have a unique opportunity to make sustainability the growth story of our time, while positioning nature as the engine of our economy.”
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