Fossil fuels are a dead end: UN chief | India News

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NEW DELHI: The global mean sea level reached a new record high in 2021, rising an average of 4. 5 mm per year over the 2013-2021 period, according to the World Meteorological Organisation’s ‘State of Climate’ report released Wednesday. It is a clear sign of how global warming is likely to be disastrous for coastal areas as the catastrophic level of 1. 5°C rise is not far away. Such indicators show how the oceans were hotter, higher and more acidic last year, affecting not just human population along coasts but also the marine life. The global mean sea level increased at more than double the previous rate due to accelerating loss of ice mass, making people in coastal areas, including in India, more vulnerable.

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Climate change could have catastrophic effects in the near future. Similar reports have been regularly published in the past couple of decades. Unfortunately, the global community is doing too little and too late. The report is not only a warning, but also a plea for all of us to act.

WMO called extreme weather events like heat waves, cyclones and floods “day-today face of climate change” and urged for immediate actions to substantially reduce GHG emissions. The scary trend on climate change indicators in the report prompted UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to call for ending fossil fuel pollution, saying “fossil fuels are a dead end — environmentally and economically”.

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He said the war in Ukraine and its immediate effects on energy prices is yet another wake-up call. Though the report noted that 2021 was a bit less warm because of a La Niña event at the start and end of the year, it said this did not reverse the overall trend of rising temperatures. WMO has flagged that there is a50:50 chance of the annual average global temperature temporarily reaching 1. 5°C above the pre-industrial level at least in one of the next five years.



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