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“We will have to repeat such a decrease each year by 2030 to meet the target of 1.5 or 2 degrees,” says Jean Jouzel.

From January 1 to April 30, the shutdown of the economy due to the coronavirus epidemic led to an 8.6% drop in global CO2 emissions according to a study published in the Nature Climate Change.

“It will be necessary to repeat such a decrease each year by 2030 to meet the target of 1.5 or 2 degrees”, said on franceinfo Friday May 22, Jean Jouzel, climatologist, glaciologist, former vice-president of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), whilea study published in Nature Climate Change gives a precise ecological assessment of containment. From January 1 to April 30, the shutdown of the economy led to an 8.6% drop in global CO2 emissions. “We must completely change our approach to economic development and detoxify from fossil fuels”, explains Jean Jouzel. For the climatologist, “everything must be done to change our mode of development. This is the main message of this economic crisis associated with the health crisis”.

franceinfo: It is a side effect of the coronavirus crisis, with the implementation of containment, CO2 emissions will have decreased worldwide over the first four months of the year. So should we stop the world economy to save the planet?

No, we must not stop the world economy, we must completely reorient it. What this reduction, which will be in the order of 5 to 6% on an annual basis, tells us is that such a reduction will have to be repeated each year by 2030 to meet the target of 1.5 or 2 degrees and then go towards carbon neutrality. It is not by starting out on the same economic system that we will succeed. We must completely change our approach to economic development and detoxify from fossil fuels. Everything must be done to change our mode of development. This is the main message of this economic crisis associated with the health crisis.

Each of us is concerned. The next world must absolutely be different from the one we have lived in for fifty years.Jean Jouzel, climatologistat franceinfo

We have been saying for at least the past fifteen years that 2020 will be a pivotal year, it is a coincidence that this year 2020 is that of the Covid-19, with a major economic crisis. It must make us think. An economic downturn, a drop in activity is not enough to succeed in combating global warming.

Is the organization of this summit announced by Emmanuel Macron in Marseille in 2021, the One Planet Summit, good news?

Yes, this is good news. This summit was scheduled for June, so it's a trip of a few months. This is very important in its aspect of biodiversity. There is a very strong link between biodiversity, climate and global warming. When we look at the causes of the loss of biodiversity in recent decades, global warming comes third, after our activities, deforestation, land consolidation in our regions, phytosanitary products, overfishing, but also artificialisation soils. The climate accounts for 13 to 15% of the loss of our biodiversity worldwide over the past fifty years.

Can these kinds of summits really make a difference?

Yes, I mean it for the climate. We had this climate convention in 1992, the implementation of the IPCC and annual meetings. The existence of the climate convention was a good thing. The biodiversity convention was also implemented in 1992 during the Earth Summit in Rio. It is very important that there is this synergy in the scientific community. I think I will be in Marseille next January.

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