World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said that the temporary reduction in pollution and greenhouse gas emissions does not mean much for climate change. Addressing a virtual press conference, Lars Peter Riishojgaard, a WMO official, said that there will the negligible impact of the pandemic on climate change as the reduction in emissions will be short-lived.
Riishojgaard said that carbon emissions would go down for a short period since much of the vehicles remain off-road and aircraft grounded. However, the pandemic will be over at some point and the operations will return to normal helping pick up the emissions.
Earlier, WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas had clarified that cuts in emissions as a result of the economic crisis triggered by COVID19 are not a substitute for concerted Climate Action. “Past experience suggests that emission declines during economic crises are followed by a rapid upsurge. We need to change that trajectory,” said Taalas in a statement.
The UN agency has also raised concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the quantity and quality of weather observations and forecasts, as well as atmospheric and climate monitoring. Taalas said in a statement that the pandemic poses an additional challenge to the impact of climate change and the growing amount of weather-related disasters.
“It is essential that governments pay attention to their national early warning and weather observing capacities despite the COVID-19 crisis,” said Taalas.
WMO highlighted that large parts of the observing system are partly or fully automated and expected to continue functioning for several weeks without significant degradation. However, the agency warned that repair, maintenance and supply work and redeployments will become of increasing concern if the pandemic lasts more than a few weeks.