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The world is heading in wrong climate change direction

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Geneva – The world is heading in the wrong climate change direction, according to a new World Meteorological Organisation reports.

It highlights the huge gap between aspirations and reality. Without ambitious action, the physical and socio-economic impacts of climate change will be increasingly devastating, it warns.

The report shows greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise to record highs. Fossil fuel emission rates are above pre-pandemic levels after a temporary drop due to lockdowns.

The ambition of emissions reduction pledges for 2030 needs to be seven times higher to be in line with the 1.5 °C goal of the Paris Agreement

The last seven years have been the warmest on record. There is a 48 percent chance that, during at least one year in the next five years, the annual mean temperature will temporarily be 1.5°C higher than 1850-1900 average.

As global warming increases, tipping points in the climate system cannot be ruled out.

Large cities are responsible for up to 70 percent of human-caused emissions and they will face increasing socio-economic impacts.

The most vulnerable populations will suffer most, says the report which gives examples of extreme weather in different parts of the world this year.

Floods, droughts, heatwaves, extreme storms and wildfires are going from bad to worse, breaking records with alarming frequency.

Heatwaves in Europe. Colossal floods in Pakistan. Prolonged and severe droughts in China, the Horn of Africa and the United States.

There is nothing natural about the new scale of these disasters. They are the price of humanity’s fossil fuel addiction UN Secretary-General António Guterres says.

“Our latest report shows climate impacts heading into uncharted territory of destruction. Yet each year we double-down on this fossil fuel addiction, even as the symptoms get rapidly worse,” he says.