GENEVA (AP) — Greenhouse gas concentrations hit a new record high last year and increased at a faster rate than the annual average for the last decade despite a temporary reduction during pandemic lockdowns, the World Meteorological Organization said in a report published Monday.
The news came as the United Nations climate office warned that the world remains off target for meeting its goal of cutting emissions as part of international efforts to curb global warming.
Both announcements came days before the start of a U.N. climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Many environmental activists, policymakers and scientists say the Oct. 31-Nov. 12 event, known as COP26 for short, marks an important and even crucial opportunity for concrete commitments to the targets set out in the 2015 Paris climate accord.
“The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin contains a stark, scientific message for climate change negotiators at COP26,” World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said of his agency’s annual report on heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. “At the current rate of increase in greenhouse gas concentrations, we will see a temperature increase by the end of this century far in excess of