Friday May 24, 2019

UN Considers Nitrogen Pollution As a Big Issue

"Yet the scale of the problem remains largely unknown and unacknowledged outside scientific circles,"

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The U.N. refugee agency says it cannot assess the scale of the current humanitarian situation in these volatile areas because it has little access to these and other regions in Myanmar. Pixabay

Nitrogen pollution is one of the biggest environmental issues faced by humans today and requires urgent action from nations around the world, the UN Environment agency said on Monday.

Its Frontiers report, launched ahead of the UN Environment high-level assembly beginning here on March 11, explores environmental issues that will have profound effects on society, economy and ecosystems, along with some novel solutions.

By scanning the technological and environmental horizons, the report identifies five major topics — synthetic biology, ecological connectivity, permafrost peatlands, nitrogen pollution and maladaptation to climate change.

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Industries employing pet coke and furnace oil emit large amounts of sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide that can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause respiratory problems. Pixabay

Nitrogen is essential for life but excess nitrogen pollution has tremendous consequences on humans and the environment, the report said. In the form of nitrous oxide, for example, it is 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, in addition to the effects of various nitrogen compounds on air quality and the ozone layer.

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“Altogether, humans are producing a cocktail of reactive nitrogen that threatens health, climate and ecosystems, making nitrogen one of the most important pollution issues facing humanity,” the report warns.

“Yet the scale of the problem remains largely unknown and unacknowledged outside scientific circles,” it adds. (IANS)

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Climate Change Affects Developing Countries the Most: UN

The African continent could leverage to its advantage in the global fight against the impacts of climate change

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Climate Change, Developing Countries
the least responsible countries suffer the most from the global threat that emanated from climate change. Pixabay

United Nations officials on Wednesday said developing nations were facing the brunt of climate change despite their little contribution to the problem.

A joint statement was made by Mary Robinson, Ireland’s former President and UN Special Envoy on El Nino and Climate, and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Vera Songwe during a climate-focused meeting in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.

Robinson said, “those who suffer the worst effects of climate change are often the least responsible for it”.

She called for the need for climate justice as the least responsible countries suffer the most from the global threat that emanated from climate change, Xinhua news agency reported.

Climate Change, Developing Countries
Developing nations were facing the brunt of climate change despite their little contribution to the problem. Pixabay

Robinson was appointed UN Special Envoy along with Macharia Kamau of Kenya in 2016 to provide the leadership required to tackle climate-related challenges.

ECA’s Songwe said the African continent could leverage to its advantage in the global fight against the impacts of climate change.

“We didn’t create it, but we can profit the most from it. A climate smart economy is an extremely profitable economy. It’s an economy that will create more jobs and leave us cleaner and better,” Songwe said.

Mithika Mwenda, Executive Director of the Pan African Justice Alliance, said during the discussion climate justice was not getting the priority it deserved from governments.

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“Africa is most affected and impacted by climate change, but we don’t do much about it. We need strong governance systems to move the climate discourse and actions forward,” he said.

He urged the ECA to fortify collaboration with the African Union and the African Development Bank in line with the ClimDev-Africa programme that’s mandated by African leaders to create a solid foundation for Africa’s response to climate change. (IANS)