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Raise Ambition Of Climate Targets By 2020: Vulnerable Nations

The more than 40 heads of state, government and delegation also constituted the first global gathering of leaders of nations most threatened by climate change.

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Climate change, california, economic
Climate Change Fuels California Fires. Flickr

Leaders at the Climate Vulnerable Forum on Thursday called on world’s governments to raise the ambition of their climate targets by 2020 in order to save vulnerable nations threatened by warming beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Chairing the first-of-its kind online Virtual Summit of more than 40 government leaders, President Hilda C. Heine of the Marshall Islands said: “Today we make history together. We are showing that more can be done with tools and means on hand than we might think.

“We are demonstrating that we can succeed in breaking from the past to face a new future.”

Hurricane, climate change
Floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey overflow from Buffalo Bayou in downtown Houston, Texas, VOA

Through the summit’s “Jumemmej Declaration”, the forum’s leaders committed to strengthening their national climate efforts by 2020 in order to pressure world governments to act.

“Jumemmej” is a Marshallese word of seafaring origin calling for vigilance to keep a watch against threats.

The carbon-free summit brought together leaders of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), which represents many of the countries most threatened by climate change.

During the 24-hour online event, which featured interactive debates and live statements from leaders around the world, the Marshall Islands also announced a new and enhanced climate target, or Paris Agreement NDC, highlighting the conviction of the most vulnerable “to move from words to action”.

Drought, Climate change
A farmer stands on cracked earth that three weeks earlier created the bottom of a reservoir on his farm, in Groot Marico, South Africa. VOA

President Emmanuel Macron of France responded to the plea of the vulnerable nations in his statement to the Virtual Summit.

“In 2020 our countries should present new, more ambitious national contributions and increase the pace of their implementation. France will stay on course,” adding “we must raise our ambitions.”

“Decisions that affect our survival are being taken now” said President Heine, while referring to findings of the October Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on 1.5 Degrees which indicated that surpassing this level of warming would create unmanageable and existential risks.

“We invite all nations, and all non-state actors, to rise with us and join our Jumemmej

Climate change, Australia
The coal-fired Plant Scherer, one of the nation’s top carbon dioxide emitters, stands in the distance in Juliette, Georgia. VOA

Declaration. We need the world to be on watch with us — we need to see each other through the storm together.”

Speaking at the summit, United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres said: “Climate Change is still moving faster than we are. As those witnessing its impacts cannot afford any more delays. The world counts on all nations to ensure that the next month’s climate conference in Poland is a success. We need ambitious climate action now.”

Also Read: New Carbon Capture Technology Now Able To Fight Climate Change: Experts

Speaking at the Virtual Summit, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet highlighted that “states must strengthen their mitigation commitments and nationally determined contributions, this is a human rights obligation.”

The more than 40 heads of state, government and delegation also constituted the first global gathering of leaders of nations most threatened by climate change. (IANS)

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Conflict and Climate Change Largely Responsible for Rising Global Hunger, Finds Study

Climate change it says is worsening the ability of people to get enough to eat

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global hunger
Somalis fleeing hunger in their drought-stricken nation walk along the main road leading from the Somalian border to the refugee camps around Dadaab, Kenya. VOA

A new report by SIPRI, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, finds conflict and climate change are largely responsible for rising global hunger.

More than 800 million people around the world are going hungry. SIPRI reports 60% are in conflict-affected countries. It says political instability and conflict-related displacement generate food crises.

The Stockholm research institute says food is often inaccessible to people caught in conflict. It says limited supplies of these commodities cause prices to spiral, making food largely unaffordable.

hunger, climate change
The report finds nearly 11 million people, or more than 43 percent of the population, are undernourished and in a perpetual state of hunger. Pixabay

Climate change it says is worsening the ability of people to get enough to eat. It says hunger is growing as crops and livelihoods in impoverished countries are wiped out by extreme flooding and drought.

The U.N.’s World Food Program reports Yemen suffered the worst food crisis last year, followed in order of severity by DR Congo, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Syria, Sudan, South Sudan and northern Nigeria. WFP spokesman, Herve Verhoosel says these eight countries account for two-thirds of all people facing acute hunger.

“Even in conflict-affected areas with limited access such as South Sudan and Yemen, when we can do our job safely and have consistent access to people in need, we can prevent the worst forms of hunger,” he said. “We only see famine now when our staff are not able to reach the food-insecure people due to insecurity or where our access is blocked.”

climate change, hunger
Climate change it says is worsening the ability of people to get enough to eat. Pixabay

ALSO READ: Washington Gives 1,000 Free Trees to Residential Customers With a Goal of Saving Energy

Verhoosel says more than 113 million people in 53 countries suffer from acute hunger and are in urgent need of food, nutrition and livelihood assistance. He notes conflict and insecurity are the main drivers of hunger in 21 of these countries.

WFP is the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger. Each year it provides food assistance to nearly 90 million people in areas affected by conflict and natural disasters. (VOA)