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“We Need to Cut Greenhouse Emissions by 45% by 2030 to Avoid Climate Change Catastrophe”, Says Antonio Guterres

"Preventing irreversible climate disruption is the race of our lives and for our lives. It is a race we can, and must, win"

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climate change catastrophe
Guterres said: "July at least equalled if not surpassed the hottest month in recorded history. This follows the hottest June ever. Wikimedia Commons

Citing the shattering of temperature records in New Delhi, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said the world is in “the race of our lives and for our lives” to avoid a climate change catastrophe.

“If we do not take action on climate change now, these extreme weather events are just the tip of the iceberg,” he said on Thursday at a news briefing. “And that iceberg is also rapidly melting.”

According to the World Meteorological Organisation, New Delhi broke the July heat record with 48 degrees Centigrade and the month “has re-written climate history books as record heatwaves have been seen across the globe”. Record temperatures were recorded in several places around the world. Guterres said: “July at least equalled if not surpassed the hottest month in recorded history. This follows the hottest June ever.

climate change catastrophe
Greenhouse gases have continued to climb, and “climate change is occurring much faster than anticipated,” the report said. Pixabay

“All of this means we are on track for the period from 2015 to 2019 to be the five hottest years. “Preventing irreversible climate disruption is the race of our lives and for our lives. It is a race we can, and must, win.” For this, the Secretary-General said he was convening the Climate Action Summit, in which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to participate.

Guterres said that he had told the leaders from governments, businesses and civil society not to come with “beautiful speeches”, but with concrete plans to enhance nationally determined contributions to reducing carbon emission by 2020 and strategies for carbon neutrality – removing an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide for any emitted – by 2050.

Guterres said: “The world’s leading scientists tell us we must limit temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Centigrade if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. We need to cut greenhouse emissions by 45 per cent by 2030. We need carbon neutrality by 2050.”

However, he also said there were optimistic developments in battling climate change. Because of technological developments, solar and onshore wind are now the cheapest sources of new power in virtually all major economies, he said. Businesses are also taking the lead in dealing with climate change, he said.

climate change catastrophe
Scientists say heatwaves such as the one Earth is currently experiencing are consistent with climate scenarios. Pixabay

“Leading businesses around the world are also recognizing that moving early from the grey to the green economy will deliver competitive advantages, while delaying will lead to huge losses.”

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Asset managers representing nearly half the world’s invested capital – some $34 trillion – “demanding urgent climate action, calling on global leaders to ‘phase out fossil fuel subsidies and thermal coal power worldwide,’ and ‘put a meaningful price on carbon'”, he said.

Businesses with a combined value of more than $1.3 trillion are on board with the UN Global Compact to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Centigrade, Guterres added. (IANS)

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Escalating Consequences of Climate Change Hit Countries Globally

India was ranked fifth vulnerable globally

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Climate
As Climate impacts begin to result in permanent loss and damage across the world, there is still no specific UN climate finance facility to reimburse the loss of land, culture and human lives. Pixabay

The escalating consequences of Climate change are now hitting both rich and poor countries, a report published on Wednesday said. India was ranked fifth vulnerable globally.

The Climate Risk Index 2020, an annual report by Germanwatch, ranks countries according to their vulnerability to extreme weather events.

It was released in the Spanish capital on the sidelines of the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) or COP25 that is being held in the backdrop of climate impact biting globally.

According to the report, India has also been badly affected, ranking fifth in the overall global vulnerability index in 2018, ranked first in terms of fatalities and second in the world in terms of losses in millions of dollars.

India’s overall ranking has drastically fallen from 14th in 2017, to fifth in 2018.

The report shows that extreme weather, linked with climate change, is affecting not only the poorer countries like Myanmar and Haiti, but also some of the world’s richest countries.

Japan is the worst-hit country in 2018, while Germany and Canada were both also in the ‘bottom 10’ i.e. the most affected.

The results reflect the increasing damage caused by heatwaves, which scientists have found are being worsened by climate change.

To explain this drastic fall in ranking in a year, David Eckstein, Policy Advisor (Climate Finance and Investment) with Germanwatch said: “India’s high rank is due to severe rainfall, followed by heavy flooding and landslides that killed over 1,000 people.”

The state of Kerala was especially impacted. The floods were described as the worst in the last 100 years.

Climate
A report shows that extreme weather, linked with climate change, is affecting not only the poorer countries like Myanmar and Haiti, but also some of the world’s richest countries. Pixabay

According to Eckstein, India was struck by two cyclones in October and November 2018 that also nearly killed 1,000 people. Last but not least, India also suffered from extreme heat. While the human death toll was kept considerably low due to public measures, the economic damage was quite severe.

Other countries ranking in the bottom 20 in the overall climate risk categories are the US at 12th, Vietnam at sixth, Bangladesh at seventh and France at 15th.

The report also points to the importance of negotiations at COP25. As climate impacts begin to result in permanent loss and damage across the world, there is still no specific UN climate finance facility to reimburse the loss of land, culture and human lives.

So far, the industrialised countries have refused to even negotiate it.

But at COP25, for the first time, financial support for climate-related loss and damage is high on the agenda.

For the poorest and most vulnerable countries, this climate summit is, therefore, of the utmost importance. They demand that states agree a deal to support those who are suffering, or at least acknowledge the necessity, with a pathway towards real help.

Otherwise the poorest countries will continue to rely on loans to cope with the consequences of climate change, which means they are threatened with excessive debts, undermining often already vulnerable economies.

In the talks that will last till December 13, India has been ambitious in its actions.

Climate
The escalating consequences of Climate change are now hitting both rich and poor countries, a report published on Wednesday said. India was ranked fifth vulnerable globally. Pixabay

It has emphasised that developed countries should take the lead in undertaking ambitious actions and fulfil their climate finance commitments of mobilising $100 billion per annum by 2020 and progressively and substantially scale up their financial support to inform parties for future action through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

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India is also stressing upon the need for fulfilling the pre-2020 commitments by developed countries, and that pre-2020 implementation gaps should not present an additional burden to developing countries in the post-2020 period.

The Indian delegation will be led by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, who is attending the summit from December 9. (IANS)