2021 seen as a year to make up lost ground on climate change

By Brian Roewe
January 8, 2021

From national economies to personal lives, the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 placed much of the world on pause. But one thing didn't stop: climate change.

While global emissions declined an estimated 7% because of halts in activity that were related to COVID-19 restrictions, climate scientists project 2020 will rank among the two hottest years on record, and possibly top the list. Add to that a historic hurricane season in the Atlantic, Arctic sea ice hitting a near-record low and record-breaking wildfires in Australia, California and Siberia.

The 2020 pause delayed attention to climate at the start of a critical decade, during which global greenhouse gas emissions must be halved to keep pace toward net-zero emissions by 2050 in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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