A new report from the World Economic Forum says that countries cannot use the lowered carbon emissions from the pandemic to help alleviate climate change. The 2021 Global Risks report outlines threats to humanity including, political and social unrest, as well as economic disenfranchisement.

Citing similar downturns during the Great Recession, report authors stress that the slowdown of emissions during the pandemic is just a small respite, rather than stand for prolonged reductions.

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“Although lockdowns worldwide caused global emissions to fall in the first half of 2020, evidence from the 2008–2009 Financial Crisis warns that emissions could bounce back,” the report reads. “A shift towards greener economies cannot be delayed until the shocks of the pandemic subside.”

Instead, authors should use aggressive targets and carbon trading to help move towards a reduced emissions economy. “A shift towards greener production and consumption cannot be delayed until economies are revived,” the report states. “Governments—individually and in coordination—need to catalyse a transformation that amalgamates investment in green and inclusive economic recovery, with short-term measures to bridge gaps in health, education, employment prospects and social safety nets.”

Read more recent news on emissions and climate change, including the G20 report on energy use and Biden’s environmental plans. Learn more about climate change affecting marine life, including acidification harming Dungeness crabs,  the mystery of dead birds across Alaska, turtles in Cape Cod Bay, lobsters off the coast of New England, and whales in the Gulf of Maine.

Sign this petition to demand that U.S. legislators come together to unanimously support a Green New Deal so that we can finally address the climate crisis.

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