May 7, 2021 - 16:05 AMT
UN chief warns of "abyss" amid record carbon concentrations

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has said carbon dioxide concentrations have risen to a new high – 148% above pre-industrial levels – which is the highest level for 3 million years.

Guterres warned of impending environmental disaster, as last year was another unprecedented period of extreme weather and climate disasters.

Addressing the 2021 Petersberg Climate Dialogue, the UN chief said last year was already 1.2 degrees Celsius hotter than pre-industrial times – dangerously close to the 1.5-degree limit set by the scientific community.

"Under current commitments, including the recent ones, we are still heading for a disastrous temperature rise of 2.4 degrees by the end of the century," he said.

"We stand indeed at the edge of the abyss.

“By 2030, we must cut global emissions by 45 per cent compared to 2010 levels to get to net zero emissions by 2050. That is how we will keep the hope of 1.5 degrees alive.”