Global carbon dioxide emissions will likely drop 6% this year, the World Meteorological Organisation chief says.
But the WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas warned the coronavirus-linked fall will not be significant enough to curb global warming.
Mr Taala said the pandemic might cause the biggest yearly fall in emissions since the Second World War, but urged governments to integrate climate action into coronavirus recovery plans.
“COVID-19 may result in a temporary reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, but it is not a substitute for sustained climate action,” Mr Taalas said.
“We need to show the same determination and unity against climate change as against COVID-19.”
The agency found carbon dioxide levels were up 26% since 1970 and the global temperature was an average of 0.86C higher.
Also on Wednesday, the WMO published the final version of its Global Climate report, confirming that 2015-2019 was the warmest five years on record.
Europe warmed faster than the global aveage, the European State Of The Climate report from the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) found.
The record warmest year was 2019, when extreme weather in the UK saw several heatwaves and record temperatures.
Over the five years, Europe’s average temperature climbed to almost 2C above pre-industrial levels, outstripping the global average of 1.1C.
All but one of the 12 warmest years on record have been since 2000.
The C3S report showed Europe has been steadily warming for four decades.
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Nearly every country pledged to stay “well below” a 2.5C increase above pre-industrial levels when signing the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
Reading University’s natural hazards researcher, Professor Hannah Cloke, said the C3S report was concerning.
“In lockdown… it would be easy for us to take our eyes off this alarming reality,” she said.
“For every decade I have been on this planet, it has been getting hotter and hotter and hotter.”
The report was released on World Earth Day, when Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future team also launched a new campaign inspired by her statement to the World Economic Forum last year: “I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.”
The campaign includes a video of a family living their morning routine while their house is burning.
In early April, a major UN summit on tackling climate change due to be held in Glasgow in November was postponed for a year because of coronavirus.
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