Category: Climate Change (Page 2 of 3)

Boris Johnson to UN: ‘The adolescence of humanity is coming to an end’.

In his speech to the high-level debate at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared that ‘it is time for mankind to grow up and take responsibility for the damage we are inflicting on the planet’.

Boris Johnson said: “The human species is nearing the end of the adolescent phase of its evolutionary lifespan“.

He referred to November’s COP26 UN climate conference, which he is hosting in the Scottish city of Glasgow, as the moment to show that mankind is capable of learning and maturing.

Daily, weekly, we are doing such irreversible damage that, long before a million years (of humankind) are up, we will have made this beautiful planet effectively uninhabitable, not just for us but for many other species”, said the Prime Minister of the UK.

Business as usual, warned the UK leader, will see temperatures going up by more than 2.7 degrees or more by the end of the century, with disastrous consequences, because of human action.

“Our grandchildren”, he said, “will know that.. we missed our cue, and they will ask what kind of people we were to be so selfish and so short-sighted”.

Looking ahead to COP26, Mr. Johnson described the climate conference as a opportunity to grow up, a metaphorical “16th birthday party for humanity”, at which the world can celebrate a coming of age, and “blow out the candles of a world on fire”, according UN News.

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UN chief: “Restore trust and inspire hope” to UN General Assembly.

With humanity on the edge of an abyss, and moving in the wrong direction, the world must wake up“, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his keynote address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

Antonio Guterres called for greater action in areas such as climate policy, gender equality and closing the gap between rich and poor.

“This is our time.

A moment for transformation. 

An era to re-ignite multilateralism. 

An age of possibilities,” the UN Secretary-General told world leaders and ambassadors.      

“Let us restore trust. 

Let us inspire hope.

And let us start right now.”

Amid “the greatest cascade of crises in our lifetimes”, which include the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate emergency, and upheaval in places such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Yemen.

Mr. Guterres singled out one disturbing image as indicative of the present moment, citing “the picture we have seen from some parts of the world of COVID-19 vaccines…in the garbage.

Expired and unused”.

“On the one hand, we see the vaccines developed in record time, a victory of science and human ingenuity.

On the other hand, we see that triumph undone by the tragedy of a lack of political will, selfishness and mistrust.”

For the UN Secretary-General, the fact that most wealthier countries are vaccinated, while more than 90 per cent of Africans are still awaiting their first dose, was “a moral indictment of the state of our world” and “an obscenity”, according UN News.

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UN chief: “Paris climate deal could go up in smoke without action”.

Unless wealthy nations commit to tackling emissions now, the world is on a “catastrophic pathway” to 2.7-degrees of heating by the end of the century, UN Secretary General António Guterres warned on Friday.

This is far beyond the one to 1.5 degree Celsius threshold, agreed by the international community as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The UN chief’s remarks came after the UN’s climate agency (UNFCCC) published an update on national climate action plans (officially known as Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs) submitted by the 191 countries which signed Agreement.

The report indicates that while there is a clear trend that greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced over timenations must urgently redouble their climate efforts if they are to prevent disastrous global heating in the future.

Not enough

The document includes updates to the NDCs of 113 countries that represent around 49% of global emissions, including the nations of the European Union and the United States.

Those countries overall expect their greenhouse gas emissions to decrease by 12% in 2030 compared to 2010. 

“This is an important step,” the report points out, but insufficient, as highlighted by Mr. Guterres at Friday’s Forum of Major Economies on Energy and Climate, hosted by the President of the United States, Joe Biden.

“We need a 45 per cent cut in emissions by 2030, to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century

It is clear that everyone must assume their responsibilities”, he emphasized.

70 countries indicated their embrace of carbon neutrality goals by around the middle of the century.

If this materializes, it could lead to even greater emissions reductions, of about 26% by 2030, compared to 2010, the report explains, according UN News.

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United Nations: “Hunger spikes in Haiti following deadly earthquake”.

Around 980,000 Haitians in the four districts most affected by the August 14 earthquake in Haiti are now living with acute food insecurity, according to new UN food security data released on Thursday. 

Following the release of its findings, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) urgently called for more investment to help rural Haitians go back to small-scale farming and avoid a worsening of the food crisis

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and has long been vulnerable on multiple fronts.  

Last month’s earthquake destroyed markets, roads, storage and processing facilities, dairies, and irrigation systems. 

Tropical Storm Grace, which hit days after the seismic event, caused additional damage. 

FAO Representative in Haiti, Jose Luis Fernandez, said that “on top of a succession of disasters and crises, this latest double whammy has left people’s ability to produce and to access food for their families and communities, in tatters.”  

“With the October winter planting season just around the corner, we can’t wait to invest in rebooting agricultural production. That must happen immediately, but we are hampered by low levels of funding for this critical work,” he added. 

Even before the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, poverty, civil unrest, political and economic instability, combined with recurring natural disasters and the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, had turned Haiti into one of the worst-affected areas in terms of food supply.  

At the time, 4.4 million people were facing crisis or even worse levels of acute food insecurity, as measured on the official IPC food security scale, according UN News.

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United Nations report: human activity the cause of disasters around the world.

Disasters such as cyclones, floods, and droughts are more connected than we might think, and human activity is the common thread, a UN report released on Wednesday reveals.

The study from the United Nations University, the academic and research arm of the UN, looks at 10 different disasters that occurred in 2020 and 2021, and finds that, even though they occurred in very different locations and do not initially appear to have much in common, they are, in fact, interconnected.

A consequence of human influence

The study builds on the ground-breaking Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment released on 9 August, and based on improved data on historic heating, which showed that human influence has warmed the climate at a rate that is unprecedented in at least the last 2,000 years.

António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General described the IPCC assessment as a “code red for humanity”.

Over the 2020-2021 period covered by the UN University, several record-breaking disasters took place, including the COVID-19 pandemic, a cold wave which crippled the US state of Texas, wildfires which destroyed almost 5 million acres of Amazon rainforest, and 9 heavy storms in Viet Nam, in the span of only 7 weeks.

The new report identifies three root causes that affected most of the events in the analysis: human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, insufficient disaster risk management, and undervaluing environmental costs and benefits in decision-making.

The first of these, human induced greenhouse gas emissions, is identified as one of the reasons why Texas experienced freezing temperatures, but these emissions also contribute to the formation of super cyclones such as Cyclone Amphan, on the other side of the world.

The report also shows how the record rate of deforestation in the Amazon is linked to the high global demand for meat: this demand has led to an increase in the need for soy, which is used as animal feed for poultry.

As a result, tracts of forest are being cut down.

“What we can learn from this report is that disasters we see happening around the world are much more interconnected than we may realize, and they are also connected to individual behaviour”, says one of the report’s authors, UNU scientist Jack O’Connor.

“Our actions have consequences, for all of us”, according UN News.

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United Nations deputy chief: climate action essential to cool ‘season of fire and floods’.

With extreme weather events increasingly impacting countries across the world, the deputy UN chief on Monday underlined the importance of limiting temperature rise to the internationally agreed goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. 

The entire planet is going through a season of fire and floods”, Amina Mohammed told a high-level meeting on climate action, primarily hurting fragile and vulnerable populations in rich and poor countries alike. 

Speaking via video message to the Dialogue on Accelerating Adaptation Solutions ahead of COP26the annual UN climate conference, which will take place in Glasgow in November, the Deputy Secretary-General noted already-visible impacts with a 1.2 degree rise

“Countries and populations worldwide, particularly those most vulnerable and least responsible for the climate crisis, will experience even more devastating consequences”, she said.  

“The effects will reverberate through economies, communities and ecosystems, erasing development gains, deepening poverty, increasing migration and exacerbating tensions”. 

With “bold and decisive steps” towards a net-zero global economy by 2050, Ms. Mohammed said that the world could still limit global warming to within 1.5 degrees

Acting now is a question of climate justice. And we have the solutions”, she said, according UN News

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United Nations: The ‘energy patriots’ bringing electricity to Indonesia’s remote villages.

For millions of villagers in Indonesia’s remote areas, a 12-hour-per-day erratic electricity supply is the norm.

With students studying by candlelight at night and health centres not running at full capacity, these communities face an uphill struggle to improve their well-being

But a recently launched UN-led initiative could change that, thanks to a group of Indonesians dubbed “energy patriots” who have been tasked to boost the use of clean energy resources, with the goal of improving access to healthcare, education and economic development in rural villages.  

An urgent need for clean energy

Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, urgently needs clean energy capacity: the blistering pace of economic development over the past decade has lifted millions out of poverty, but it has also dramatically increased the demand for energy

The government has pledged to phase out all coal-fired power stations by 2055, but some 30 million people out of the country’s population or around 267 million do not have adequate access to electricity, according UN News.

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The weather in the United Kingdom: the 2021 summer one of the warmest on record.

Higher than normal temperatures in Northern Ireland and Scotland have pushed the United Kingdom`s average towards the top 10 hottest summers on record, with temperatures amounting to around one degree warmer than average.

Global climate reports shows that 2020 was Europe‘s warmest on record by a large margin.

The year 2021 will probably even warmer than the year 2020.

The consequences of climate change are becoming more and more visible and confirmed by global science.

The World Government Movement believes the world leaders must do everything they can to stop global warming.

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Police arrests more than 50 people at Extinction Rebellion protests in London.

Environmental activists took to the streets of central London for Extinction Rebellion’s fifth mass protest, targeting the “root cause” of the climate and nature crises.

Protesters blocked roads in central London, including around Trafalgar Square, as they demanded the government immediately end investment in fossil fuels.

Activists also set up a large pink structure at the junction of Long Acre and Upper St Martin’s Lane with the words “come to the table” written across it to highlight the right everyone has to have a say in how to tackle the crisis.

The group has planned two weeks of action in the capital of England.

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United Nations official: climate change and hunger in Madagascar.

In the south of Madagascar, known as the Grand Sud, hundreds of thousands of people are suffering from one of the worst droughts in the region in 40 years, the most senior UN official in the country has said, warning that the population is facing a severe humanitarian crisis.

The drought has gone on for longer than expected, and the funds received are insufficient to cover current and future needs.

We must act now: annual crops are a problem that will probably become a new crisis in the next agricultural season.

Resilience is the solution, and there is an urgent need to implement long-term solutions led by the government.

However, right now people need support and humanitarian assistance to get them on their feet and making a living.

The hunger season is coming.

We are in danger of seeing people who have endured the prolonged drought enter the lean season without the means to eat, without money to pay for health services, or to send their children to school, to get clean water, and even to get seeds to plant for the next agricultural season.

If we don’t act soon, we will face a much more severe humanitarian crisis”, according UN News.

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