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Pollution From Power Generators Now Exceeds Pre-Pandemic Levels
We are facing a climate emergency and yet the world’s electricity generators are polluting more than they did before the pandemic. According to a recent report, the emissions from the power sector are now 5% higher than in 2019 as a result of utilities using more coal to meet electricity demands that rose by 5%.
Although clean energies, such as wind and solar, supplied the energy demand increase in the first half of 2021, the supply of it was not enough, especially in Asia. For the first time wind and solar generated more than 10% of the world’s electricity; however, China’s increase in coal power alone was greater than the EU’s total generation of electricity. “That boosted China’s share of global coal generation to 53%, compared with 50% two years ago.”
This comes to show that if we want to achieve significant emission reductions in the power sector, all nations will have to play their role in decarbonizing their energy from fossil fuels. To reach net-zero, the IEA has stated that we need to reduce emissions by 4.4% a year, while a recent report estimates that emissions have risen by 3.5% this year and are expected to rise by another 2.5% next year to record high numbers. Climate goals will only be achieved if all nations commit to ambitious reductions.
COP26 must deliver incentives to stop deforestation, says NGO
The UN has estimated that deforestation rates are at around 10 million hectares between 2015-2020; however, fighting deforestation is key to restricting global temperature rises to 1.5°C. Research shows that protecting and conserving existing forests have larger carbon stock potentials than planting new ones and mechanisms such as REDD+, have already delivered 9 gigatonnes of emission reductions.
What has become clear is that we need a roadmap to slow, stop, and reverse global deforestation in addition to an energy transition, to reach the ambitious climate goals and avoid disastrous climate consequences. Scientific research stated that we need to slow deforestation by 15% per year, per country around the world, if we want to reach net-zero targets.
It is crucial not only to significantly reduce emissions, but also support projects under the UNFCCC REDD+ mechanism to fight deforestation threats.
Climate change continues to be evident across UK
The latest report from The Royal Meteorological Society’s International Journal of Climatology has demonstrated that climate change is already being felt across the UK. The top-ten warmest years in the UK have occurred since 2022. The lead author and Senior Climate Scientist at the Met Office, Mike Kendon, stated that “2020 was another notable year for the UK climate, with records broken for daily rainfall and monthly sunshine hours. Average temperatures for the UK continue to climb, with nearly a degree of warming when comparing the most recent 30 years with the preceding 30-year period. Last year saw some significant weather extremes including severe flooding from heavy rainfall in February and a major heatwave in early August.”
This latest research shows that the climate is changing and it is not only affecting the most vulnerable countries in the Southern Hemisphere, but countries all over the world.