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To Limit The Increase In Temperature, We Need To Increase Our Attempts Manifold: UN

Trump, who has vowed to pull the U.S. out of the Paris agreement, has dismissed that prediction.

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Climate change, ice, China, emissions, Global Warming, forum
An ice crevasse is seen on the Baishui Glacier No. 1, the world's fastest melting glacier due to its proximity to the Equator, on the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the southern province of Yunnan in China. VOA

The United Nations says all countries must triple efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions to limit an average global temperature increase to two degrees Celsius by 2030.

The ninth annual U.N. Environmental Program Emissions Gap report released Tuesday says emissions in 2030 could be up to 15 billion tons higher than needed to prevent a more than two degree hike.

The report said emissions in 2030 would need to be 55 percent lower than they were in 2017 to limit the average increase to a safer 1.5 degrees.

Hurricane, climate change, disasters, U.S., economic, emissions
Traffic moves as smoke emits from the chimney of a factory on the outskirts of Gauhati, India. VOA

The 2015 Paris Agreement calls for limiting a temperature rise to between 1.5 and two degrees.

The report said emissions reached a record high of 53.5 tons in 2017 after three years of decreases.

The report also said the world’s 20 largest economies, the Group of Twenty, are not on track to meet their goals in 2030.

The analysis follows a special report last month by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It concluded that two degrees of warming, once believed to be a safe threshold, would trigger more deadly extreme weather events. The report said limiting the Earth’s temperature rise to 1.5 degrees would require countries to make rapid and unprecedented changes.

Climate, Paris, emissions
The Eiffel tower is illuminated in green with the words “Paris Agreement is Done,” to celebrate the Paris U.N. Climate Change agreement in Paris. VOA

“If the IPCC report represented a global fire alarm, this report is the arson investigation,” said UNEP deputy executive director Joyce Msuya. “The science is clear; for all the ambitious climate action we have seen, government’s need to move faster and with greater urgency. We are feeding this fire while the means to extinguish it are within reach.”

Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration issued The National Climate Assessment, which predicts climate change could cost the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars annually through the end of the century.

Also Read: Climate Change To Get Worse In The Future: Study

Trump, who has vowed to pull the U.S. out of the Paris agreement, has dismissed that prediction, telling a reporter Friday, “I don’t believe it. No, no, I don’t believe it.”

A U.N. climate conference will be held in Poland December 2-14, when officials will produce a “rule book” on how to implement the Paris agreement. (VOA)

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World Health Organization Says First Local Case of Polio Found in Zambia Since 1995

The U.N. health agency said there is no established link between the Zambia case and the ongoing Congo outbreak

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World, Health, Polio
FILE - A Congolese child is given a polio vaccination at a relief camp near Gisenyi, Rwanda, Jan. 25 , 2002. The WHO says Zambia has reported its first local case of polio since 1995 in a 2-year-old boy paralysed by a virus derived from the vaccine. VOA

The World Health Organization says Zambia has reported its first local case of polio since 1995, in a 2-year-old boy paralyzed by a virus derived from the vaccine.

In a report this week, WHO said the case was detected on the border with Congo, which has reported 37 cases of polio traced to the vaccine this year. The U.N. health agency said there is no established link between the Zambia case and the ongoing Congo outbreak but said increased surveillance and vaccination efforts are needed, warning that “there is a potential for international spread.”

In rare cases, the live virus in oral polio vaccine can mutate into a form capable of sparking new outbreaks.

Nine African countries are currently battling polio epidemics linked to the vaccine as WHO and partners struggle to keep their efforts to eradicate polio on track. Elsewhere, cases have been reported in China, Myanmar and the Philippines.

World, Health, Polio
In a report this week, WHO said the case was detected on the border with Congo, which has reported 37 cases of polio traced to the vaccine this year. Pixabay

On Thursday, WHO and partners are expected to announce they have rid the world of type 3 polio virus.

There are three types of polio viruses. Type 2 was eliminated years ago. That now leaves only type 1. But that refers only to polio viruses in the wild. Type 2 viruses continue to cause problems since they are still contained in the oral polio vaccine and occasionally evolve into new strains responsible for some vaccine-derived outbreaks.

The global effort to eradicate polio was launched in 1988 and originally aimed to wipe out the potentially fatal disease by 2000. While cases have dropped dramatically, the virus remains stubbornly entrenched in parts of Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan. This year there have been 72 cases of polio in Pakistan after only eight in 2018.

Also Read- US Endorses Smokeless Tobacco as Less Harmful than Cigarettes

In meeting notes from an expert polio oversight board in September, WHO’s Michel Zaffran said the status of eradication was “of great concern,” noting the Taliban’s ban on house-to-house vaccination in Afghanistan. Officials described the program in Pakistan as a “failing trajectory.” (VOA)