Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

WMO supports major United Nations climate change initiative

WMO supports major United Nations climate change initiative

"In Bangkok, there has been uneven progress on the elements of the climate change regime that countries are working towards", Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, said at the conclusion of the Bangkok climate change talks held from September 4 to September 9.

"Extreme heatwaves, wildfires, storms, and floods are leaving a trail of death and devastation". Last month Kerala a state in India endured its adverse monsoon flooding in recent history terminating 400 people and rendering evacuation of one million more from their homes.

As examples, Guterres pointed to Kerala, India's worst monsoon flooding in recent history, nearly 3,000 deaths from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico past year, disappearing Arctic sea ice, some wildfires so big that they send ash around the world, oceans becoming more acidic threatening food chains, and high carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere threatening food security for billions of people.

The year 2018 is on track to be one of the warmest years on record, again, in line with the long-term trend of climate change, ice and glacier melt, sea level rise and ocean acidification.

The Paris Climate Change Agreement, which aims to keep global temperature increases this century well below 2ºC, and to drive efforts to limit temperature increases to below 1.5ºC, was adopted in December 2015 at the 21st conference of the parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Paris. We are careering towards the edge of the abyss", Guterres said, adding that though it is not too late to shift course, "every day that passes means the world heats up a little more and the cost of our inaction mounts. "We know how to scale it", he added.

The UN chief said that such a shift in thinking is where "enormous benefits await humankind".

"I have heard the argument - usually from vested interests - that tackling climate change is expensive and could harm economic growth. This is hogwash. In fact, the opposite is true", he stressed. Indeed, California, the richest USA state, has done more in policy setting and its implementation in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency than any other country in the world.

WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas was in NY to provide scientific input to the major policy statement and to stress WMO's commitment to Mr Guterres' vision of raising ambition for climate action in support of the Paris agreement and the 2030 development Agenda.

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Looking ahead, the United Nations chief emphasized that he would be reiterating this message at the General Assembly's high level segment later in the month as well as at other key events, including the G7 and G20 meetings of world leaders; and the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings.

The UN chief described the upcoming COP 24 summit within the Polish city of Katowice as a "key second" when leaders will be asked to "present they care concerning the folks whose fate they comprise in their hands".

By subsidising fossil fuels, humanity was as soon as "investing in its have doom", United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said Tuesday at a Paris summit searching for to liberate funds for the worldwide shift in direction of greener energy.

Guterres said scientists have been warning about global warming for decades, but "far too many leaders have refused to listen - far too few have acted with the vision the science demands". National, regional and municipal leaders will gather with business people and philanthropic communities to underscore their commitment to climate action.

He wants heads of government to come to NY for a special climate conference next year.

In the same vein, he called on civil society and young people to push the agenda of climate action. And each of these new patterns are being justified, sometimes diplomatically and, many times with worldwide arrogance.

World Nuclear Association welcomed Guterres' call for action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but said he had failed to recognise nuclear energy as a vital component needed to achieve this.

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