Copping Out? Despite COP summits, global inaction spurs climate extremes

New Delhi: The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP28 hosted by the United Arab Emirates in Dubai will take place between November 30 and December 12 in the backdrop of recent unprecedented heatwaves, droughts, floods and wildfires that have wreaked havoc, especially in climate-vulnerable countries.

The scientific community says these extreme weather events reinforce just how urgent it is for the world to tackle the climate crisis, improve people’s lives and livelihoods and to keep 1.5 degrees Celsius alive through net-zero economy transition.

COP28 brings together world leaders, policymakers, scientists, and stakeholders from across the globe for course-correct by deliberating on strategies and commitments that will shape the future of our planet.

Forests are an integral part of the climate solution as they contain 662 billion tonnes of carbon, which is more than half of the global carbon stock in soils and vegetation.

Greenhouse gas levels have hit a record high again.

According to a new report from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations were a full 50 per cent above the pre-industrial era for the first time in 2022 and there is no end in sight to the rising trend.

Methane concentrations also grew, and levels of nitrous oxide, the third main gas, saw the highest year-on-year increase on record from 2021 to 2022, according to the ‘Greenhouse Bulletin’, which is published to inform people about the COP28 negotiations.

“Despite decades of warnings from the scientific community, thousands of pages of reports and dozens of climate conferences, we are still heading in the wrong direction,” WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas said.

A latest report from UN Climate Change finds national climate action plans remain insufficient to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement — the landmark climate treaty concluded in 2015.

Even with increased efforts by some countries, the report shows much more action is needed now to bend the world’s emissions trajectory further downward and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

“Today’s (November 14) report shows that governments combined are taking baby steps to avert the climate crisis. And it shows why governments must make bold strides forward at COP28 in Dubai, to get on track,” said the Executive-Secretary of UN Climate Change, Simon Stiell.

“This means COP28 must be a clear turning point. Governments must not only agree what stronger climate actions will be taken but also start showing exactly how to deliver them.”

The latest science from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates that greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut 43 per cent by 2030, compared to 2019 levels. This is critical to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees by the end of this century and avoid the worst impacts of climate change, including more frequent and severe droughts, heatwaves and rainfall.

The world is failing to get a grip on the climate crisis, warned UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

Global ambition stagnated over the past year and national plans are strikingly misaligned with science, he said. “COP28 must be the place to urgently close the climate ambition gap.”

From the base of Mt. Everest on October 30, the UN chief issued a strong call, “The world cannot wait!”

“We cannot address climate catastrophe without tackling its root cause: fossil fuel dependence,” he said in response to a report showing increasing fossil fuel production.

The UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits — called COPs — which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’. This process led to the landmark Paris Agreement.

Climate extremes, whether multi-year droughts or extreme floods, are affecting every major food-producing region and are threatening agricultural productivity, reducing food security, disrupting food supply chains and eroding the livelihoods of billions of people.

A report from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Center for Environmental Information states after the warmest October last month, the 174-year global climate record, there is a 99 per cent chance that 2023 will set a new annual record.

The current hottest year on record is 2016. Seven of the past 10 years are on the list of warmest years on record.

Over the past year, Canada’s unprecedented forest blaze is perhaps the most severe. Wildfires release methane, which accelerates climate change.

Another warning comes in the run-up to COP28 by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is that sand and dust storms are an under-appreciated problem now “dramatically” more frequent in some places worldwide, with at least 25 per cent of the phenomenon attributed to human activities.

With impacts far beyond the source regions, an estimated 2 billion tonnes of sand and dust now enters the atmosphere every year, an amount equal in weight to 350 Great Pyramids of Giza.

In some areas, desert dust doubled in the last century.

With the ongoing severe floods in the Horn of Africa, worsened by El Niño, at least 7,00,000 people have been displaced.

A new study from McGill University researchers, in collaboration with researchers in Spain, Mexico, Portugal, Denmark, Australia, South Africa and other universities in Canada, investigates the importance of temperature in determining where animal species are currently found to better understand how a warming climate might impact where they might live in the future.

To find out, the researchers tested the role of temperature as a factor that could limit a species’ potential habitat range.

They compared the temperatures and areas where 460 cold-blooded animal species currently, live to the temperatures and areas where they could live, based on their tolerance to temperatures.

They found that, unlike species living in the ocean, land animals such as reptiles, amphibians and insects have habitat ranges that are less directly impacted by temperature.

The higher a species is in latitude, the lower its tendency to live in areas near the equator with temperatures they could tolerate, the researchers say. This means that, instead of tolerance to temperature, negative interactions with other species — like with competitors or parasites — could be what keep these species away from this potential habitat.

Let’s work together to make COP28 the turning point to course-correct — not too late to bring the world back on the 1.5-degree path.

As petroleum-free future looms, oil companies eye investing in renewables

New York: Red lights are flashing for petroleum companies: The European Union and several US states starting with California will ban the sale of new cars and vans powered by...

Taj City green activists demand urgent measures to save dying Yamuna river

Agra: Green warriors in Agra on Sunday demanded urgent measures to save the dying Yamuna river, the lifeline of the Sri Krishna land (Braj Bhoomi), from pollution and restricted flow...

Climate talks: Next few days will shape world’s plans for fast, fair transition to renewables

Dubai: Amidst all the geopolitical noise around orderly phase out of all fossil fuels in line with science at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), the next few days...

Stop fighting, let’s focus on climate justice, children plead to COP28 dignitaries

Dubai: Children are the most impacted by the climate emergency and they represent one third of the world's population (around 2.2 billion people), with half of them (more than one...

COP28: 40 nations to finance solutions to advance sustainable urban development

Dubai: To help the world get on a path that ensures the global temperature rise is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius as per Paris temperature goal, at least 40 nations...

Why the winter wind will not be so biting this year

  New Delhi: Winter winds will not be so biting this year too. There will be a decrease in both intensity and frequency of cold waves this season  as compared...

Cyclone Michaung affects TN, flights cancelled in Chennai airport

Chennai: Cyclone Michaung led to the disruption of normal life in Tamil Nadu on Monday, with Chennai being the worst affected. Heavy rainfall has lashed the state capital, resulting in...

Present commitments on fossil fuels fall far short of Paris Agreement goals

New Delhi: In a scenario when most of the governments around the world have no plans to cut fossil fuel consumption, the decision of Colombia to stop the expansion of...

Climate disinformation and misinformation weakening fight

New Delhi: While it is clear that the world is not taking adequate action to arrest climate change and adapt to the change that has happened because of human interference...

Renewables capacity must be trebled for world to attain climate goals

Dubai: The COP28 presidency UAE and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have convened a landmark series of High-Level Dialogues focused on building a 1.5 degrees Celsius-aligned energy transition, with the...

India’s bid for thorium-based N-power offers green solution to fossil fuels

New Delhi: India has the largest thorium reserves in the world and there is a ray of hope for greater exploitation of this resource with the first thorium-based nuclear plant...

Developing countries need up to 8x more funds to fight climate change

New Delhi: In the fight against climate change, there is an urgent need to make more public funds available to developing countries through significant reforms in the international taxation regime,...

Read Previous

Six cops on way for PM’s rally killed in road accident in Rajasthan

Read Next

‘My Hindu faith gives me my freedom’: Vivek Ramaswamy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By :