Concentrations of the main greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached their highest levels since pre-industrial times, according to experts.
The new evidence of global warming from the World Meteorological Organization, the UN’s weather agency, comes ahead of crucial climate talks in Mexico.
WMO Deputy Secretary-General Jeremiah Lengoasa said: “The main long-lived greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have reached their highest recorded levels since the beginning of the industrial age – this, in spite of the recent economic slowdown.”
Setting out its position before next week’s UN talks, Beijing’s chief negotiator Xie Zhenhua acknowledged China is the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter. But he insisted it has the right to keep expanding emissions.
His comments, however, were swiftly removed from the transcript of the briefing on the government’s website, in a possible sign that its top status remains sensitive for China.
After no breakthrough in Copenhagen last year, hopes for a quick binding deal in Cancun have faded amid ongoing international disagreement on how to tackle the problem.