The urgency from COVID-19 must not deter long-term climate objectives

Tcongohe urgency of actions to recover from the COVID-19 crisis must not deter long-term climate objectives, says a Joint Research Centre (JRC) Report. The recovery efforts must seize the opportunity to increase the resilience of our society, especially to climate impacts.

Despite the ambition of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to keep global warming well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial temperatures, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide are still growing.

Global temperature is now over 1°C higher compared to the preindustrial era. If adequate mitigation strategies are not introduced, global warming could reach 3°C or more by the end of this century.

The death toll from extreme heat could be 30 times higher and economic damages from flooding, drought and storms could be 15 times higher than today.

The COVID-19 crisis will put a dent in the climate targets if the restoration efforts are focused on returning to a pre-crisis status quo.

Now is the time to “rebuild better”.  This is the moment to introduce ambitious climate mitigation and adaptation measures in the recovery policies.

The European Commission has launched an open public consultation to seek stakeholder views for the design of the new adaptation strategy.

Published on the same day, a JRC report on climate change impacts and adaptation highlights the potentially devastating effects of climate change, unless mitigation measures are taken and adaptation strategies are implemented to reduce the unavoidable impacts.