The abundance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached record levels last year despite a reduction in industrial activity due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the World Meteorological Organization said in a report Monday.
The United Nations agency said the annual rate of increase in global warming-causing gases in 2020 was higher than the average recorded between 2011-20.
It added that the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere reached 413.2 parts per million in 2020, which was 149% of pre-industrial levels.
The rise in greenhouse gases jeopardizes the targets set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement to keep global temperatures under 1.5 to 2C higher than pre-industrial levels and comes just before world leaders gather in Glasgow to discuss the climate crisis at the COP26 summit.
“The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin contains a stark, scientific message for climate change negotiators at COP26,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas.