Total global greenhouse gas emission levels hit a new record last year despite the pandemic-induced economic shutdowns and previous commitments from world leaders, the United Nations said.
“The abundance of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere once again reached a new record last year,” the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) stated Monday morning after releasing its Greenhouse Gas Bulletin report.
While total emissions unsurprisingly hit a new record, however, the year-over-year increase between 2019-2020 was lower than the 2018-2019 increase, according to the report. Fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions, the largest contributor to greenhouse gas warming, dropped 5.6% last year compared to the year prior.
Some of the world’s top emitters of methane haven’t signed a global effort to curb how much of the greenhouse gas is emitted by 2030.
The three countries – China, Russia and India – that produce the most methane emissions in the world haven’t signed onto the pact, which has been spearheaded by the U.S. and European Union ahead of a major United Nations climate conference. The nations that have signed the agreement represent nearly 30% of global methane emissions, the State Department said Monday.
The U.S. and EU unveiled the Global Methane Pledge on Sept. 18, which they said would be key in the global fight against climate change. The U.K., Italy, Mexico and Argentina were among the seven other countries that immediately signed the agreement last month.