The WMO (World Meteorological Organization) has recently reported that lockdowns around the world to slow the spread of COVID19 have temporarily reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The reduction in economic activity (vehicles, aeroplanes and industrial activity) is the main reason for this reduction. However, according to experts, these figures are not significant as levels of atmospheric CO2 are still increasing at a worrying rate.
Fossil fuels and forest fires are responsible for this increase
Forest fires and the large quantities of fossil fuels (coal, gas, oil) we burn to generate electricity seem to be the two principal reasons behind this increase in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Climate change is making forest fires ever more frequent, rapid and virulent, releasing large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Researchers warn that the large fires that have struck various countries in recent years can even create their own storms (known as firestorms, which make the fire change direction) and release so much energy that putting them out is an increasingly arduous and difficult task.
The latest data published in the media show that this April has seen the highest recorded figures for average atmospheric concentration of CO2 since measurements began in 1958. 416.21 parts per million (ppm). No individual from our species (Homo Sapiens Sapiens) has ever previously lived with such high levels of CO2. And these figures are not just increasing but also accelerating.
The aim now, as the experts state, is to have zero net emissions by 2040, something that is essential if we want to stop the increase in global warming. None of this will be possible if we do not back a change in the energy model at a global level that involves a leap towards clean renewable energy.