#ecosystemAccounts; #embedNatureInEconomicAndFinancialDecisions; #GDP;
Melbourne (Australia), Jan 31 (Canadian-Media): New research shows that an increasing number of countries are publishing ecosystem accounts, helping to embed nature in economic and financial decisions, phys.org/news release reports said today.
Many countries, including Australia, are at last realising the need for the environment and nature to take centre stage. Image Credit: Pixabay
Internationally endorsed guidelines for ecosystem accounting were released by the United Nations in 2014 and provide a multidisciplinary framework that allows ecological and socio-economic data, including indicators such as GDP, to be combined. This framework underpins compiling a rich and coherent evidence base on the relationship between nature, and economic and social activity.
"While progress in countries with advanced measurement systems such as Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom might be considered unsurprising, it is exciting and intriguing to see the developments underway in countries such as Guatemala, the Philippines and Rwanda," said University of Melbourne Fellow and co-author, Carl Obst.
"The range of policy applications for ecosystem accounting, from peatland management to reporting on Sustainable Development Goals, is also promising. These policy applications are a significant advance on having application specific data sets that, while useful in their own right, do not collectively convey a common environmental history."
The paper, Global progress in natural capital accounting for ecosystems, finds a growing number of cases in which mainstream environmental data is being integrated with standard economic and financial data, is helping to place environmental considerations centre stage within economic and financial policy.
"The reality is clear—we depend on the environment," Mr Obst said. "It is clear when we consider the sources of our food, fibre and energy. It is clear in the ways in which the environment filters our water and air. And it is clear in the role of nature in underpinning cultures and beliefs. Unfortunately, our revealed behaviours show we ignore this reality and we take the environment for granted."
Led by Professor Lars Hein from Wageningen University, the research recognises that people, businesses and governments regularly make decisions that treat the environment as separable and often in last place. There is increasing acceptance, however, that the environment must take centre stage. The question now is how.
Mr Obst said in Australia the development of the United Nations System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA), which has driven the latest research, is now underpinned by a nationally endorsed strategy. The SEEA EEA framework has been applied extensively in Victoria in various contexts, for example to support the State of the Bays report, in the assessment of Victoria's national parks and to provide a description of the environmental-economic connections in the Central Highlands. Victoria is also embracing ecosystem accounting in its strategic plans for biodiversity and the provision of clean air and water, he said.
"This integration makes it possible for the environment to be considered on a regular basis in everyday decisions, not just when natural disasters strike," said Mr Obst. "Further, the regular compilation and publication of ecosystem accounts provides a means for all stakeholders, including the wider community, to assess progress towards environmental sustainability using agreed measures and hence collectively shift ourselves "beyond GDP."
#U.S.; #U.S.EPA; #EPA; #USEnvironmentalGroups; #PlanToSue; #AircrarfEmissions; #publicHealth
Washington, Jan 31 (Canadian-Media): A plan to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for failing to regulate aircraft emissions after it was clear to the agency in 2016 that those emissions pose a danger to public health, said U.S. Environmental groups on Thursday, media reports said.
A notice of intent to sue the EPA was filed if the agency did not act within six months by Clare Lakewood, climate legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity along with Friends of the Earth.
“Airplane pollution is increasing at really worrying rates, but the EPA just keeps refusing to address this skyrocketing threat to our rapidly warming planet,” Lockwood said.
Airplanes are the third-largest source of U.S. transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions and the largest greenhouse gas emissions standards.
Prediction of worldwide passenger numbers to double from 2017 levels to 8.2 billion by 2037, it is estimated that there would about 70% higher emissions from global international aviation by 2020, higher than in 2005 because of rising travel demand.
About 2 percent of global carbon emissions and about 12 percent of transport emissions are caused by commercial flying.
An EPA spokeswoman said the agency is working on this issue and documents say it intends to issue proposed rules in February and added that anticipates adopting domestic GHG (greenhouse gas) standards that would be aligned to International Civil Aviation Organization (CAO)’s standards.
India: Climate emergency message resonates at world’s largest literature festival – UN News special report from Jaipur
#Jaipur, #India; #ClimateEmergency; #World'sLargestLiteratureFestival, #UN; #PaceOfDamagingClimateChange
Jaipur (India), Jan 29 (Canadian-Media): Against the backdrop of India’s famed “pink city” of Jaipur, the world’s largest literature festival hosted the UN’s top representative in the country on Monday, who told audience members attending a special session on the climate emergency, that the Organization is working flat out to slow the pace of damaging climate change, UN news release said.
The session on climate emergency at Jaipur Literature Festival. (L to R Ms. Renata Dessallien, resident coordinator of UN in India; Ms. Namita Waikar, managing editor of online journal PARI; Ms. Shubhangi Swarup, writer and filmmaker; Ms. Dia Mirza, Actress and UN Advocate for Sustainable Development. Image credit: UN India/Yangerla Jamir
From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. It is estimated that over 600 million Indians are likely to be impacted adversely by climate change if we don’t change course now.
Jaipur is the capital of the picturesque, almost magical Indian state of Rajasthan. It is known as the Pink City due to the colour of the stone used for many of its glorious palaces and historic monuments.
Acclaimed as the ‘greatest literary show on Earth’, the five-day Jaipur Literature festival attracts more than 400,000 book lovers; around 2,000 speakers addressing more than 200 sessions; and authors from 20 different countries. The books being discussed are penned in more than two dozen languages.
Limits of influence
Questioned over whether the UN is doing enough to resolve the climate crisis, the UN’s Resident Coordinator in India, Renata Dessallien, quipped that the Organization could not act as a “global police” force.
“We are also not a global Government, so there are limits, to which the UN is mandated and on what it is able to do.”
“In fact”, she added, “we are pushing the limits on many fronts. The best way to describe the United Nations is that we are the ‘world persuader’ – persuading people to do what is fundamentally right.”
She lauded the UN’s pioneering role in the science relating to the impact of climate change, in the late 1980s, “when a panel was established on climate change by the UN” known as the IPCC, which provides governments at all levels with trusted scientific information they can use to develop climate policies.
“So the science is out there and as an inter-governmental body we bring the nation states together to address the problem that’s staring us in the face, validated by the science.”
The session heard some startling stories of people living in India’s Ladakh region who are gravely affected by Climate crisis.
Solar Energy Innovator, Educationist and Managing Director of Himalayan Institute of Alternatives in Ladakh, Sonam Wangchuk said: “Up in the mountains, across the Himalayas, particularly in Ladakh, our glaciers are melting and while we always had water shortages, now we are seeing droughts in the spring season.
“I know at least two villages where people had to abandon the whole village due to water (shortages). These droughts are now accompanied by flash floods in autumn.”
In 2006, while volunteering in one such village that was washed away, leading to many deaths, he had asked villagers when the last flash flooding had occurred, but “they didn’t remember. The same village had another flash flood in 2010, then in 2015 and then another one in 2017. So it’s now becoming as frequent as that.”
He appealed to the people living in the plains and the cities to be responsible and “live simply” so that the people of the mountains in turn, can ‘simply live’.
Managing Editor of online journal PARI, Namita Waikar, who is chronicling the stories of how vulnerable populations across India are being most affected by climate change for the upcoming UNDP Human Development Report, chimed in with other first-hand accounts of how life is being adversely affected in the coastal cities.
“In the rural areas, there are communities in Tamil Nadu where seaweed farmers are forced to change livelihoods due to fast disappearing seaweeds.
“Similarly, in places like Delhi, inland fishing communities are catching dead fish. What they told me was heart breaking.” Fisherman told her that if they lay the net at night, all they catch are the “freshest of the dead fish” in the morning. Keeping sewage and industrial waste out of rivers and coastal areas in an urgent priority, she said” “Another fisherwoman said that some of the fish they caught earlier are now only seen on the Discovery channel. That clearly explains the gravity of the situation.”
Writer, educator and filmmaker, Shubhangi Swarup, who is exploring ecology in her fiction, explained how she is integrating climate change themes into her work.
“Our stories have become human-centric, self-obsessed and obnoxious. We don’t have appreciation of nature and universe in our stories.
“So, I tried to write a novel where a geological fault line is the thread of the narrative. It begins with the Andaman (islands), goes to Myanmar, then Nepal and ends in Ladakh. While telling the story, I realised how ridiculous the political borders are when we are talking about solving local problems”, she said.
The session on climate emergency at Jaipur Literature Festival. (L to R) Mr. Sameer Saran, moderator and president of Observer Research Foundation; Mr. Apoorva Oza, chief executive officer of Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (India); Mr. Sonam Wangchuk.Civil Society Activist, Apoorva Oza, reiterated the need to take profit considerations out of the climate change debate: Image credit: UN India/Yangerla Jamir
Profit or progress?
“There’s this excessive focus on measuring everything in economic terms. When I write a proposal they ask me whether I’ll double the farmers’ income. All I can tell you is that they will protect nature, they’ll sustain the environment, they’ll not over-exploit groundwater. But I can’t guarantee that I can double their incomes. I can only guarantee their progress.”
The session took a sombre turn when the famous Bollywood Actress and UN Advocate for Sustainable Development, Dia Mirza reached out to the audience and asked, “Do you have time? We just have a decade. Listen to women, listen to mothers, listen to children. And if you don’t understand science, just watch nature.”
The message was clear: everyone is responsible for creating a more environmentally sustainable world – And the arts and cultural sector is no exception.
As Moderator, Sameer Saran aptly concluded: “Since this festival is attended by the literati, stories come out of such places. If climate change becomes a part of these stories, we’ll be inspired to take better steps in mitigating climate change. Stories we tell about ourselves define our actions. And if our stories are green, then probably our future will also be green and prosperous.”
The 13th year of the Jaipur Literature Festival saw a host of literary big-hitters in attendance, including Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee, Pulitzer Prize Awardee Forrest Gander, Journalist Christina Lamb, the New Yorker journalist Dexter Filkins, Man Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson, Elizabeth Gilbert and popular Indian writers like Shashi Tharoor and Javed Akhtar engaging in ideas, debate and dialogue.
#Toronto; #ExtremeColdWeatherAlert; #Environment&ClimateChange; #Hypotermia
Toronto News release
Toronto, Jan 29 (Canadian-Media): Based on Environment and Climate Change Canada's forecast, Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, has issued an Extreme Cold Weather Alert today for Toronto in anticipation of colder weather conditions within the next 24 hours or longer. The Extreme Cold Weather Alert will be in effect until further notice.
Dr. Eileen de Villa. Image credit: Twitter
Extreme Cold Weather Alerts activate local services that focus on getting and keeping vulnerable residents inside. A warming centre is open at Metro Hall by 7 p.m. the day an alert is called, and remains open continuously until noon on the day an alert is terminated. Other services include notification to community agencies to relax any service restrictions, availability of transit tokens in some drop-ins, and additional overnight street outreach.
Throughout the year, 24-hour respite sites provide meals, places to rest, and service referrals at locations across the city. People can call 311 for locations and to connect to Central Intake for a referral. Homeless Help lists site information at http://www.toronto.ca/homelesshelp.
The City asks that residents help vulnerable people by calling 311 if there is a need for street outreach assistance. Call 911 if the situation is an emergency.
Extreme Cold Weather Alerts are issued when the temperature in the daily forecast suggests temperatures will reach approximately -15 degrees Celsius or colder, or when the wind chill is forecast to reach -20 or colder. The Medical Officer of Health may also consider other weather-related factors when issuing Extreme Cold Weather Alerts.
Exposure to cold weather can be harmful to your health. Hypothermia occurs when the body's core temperature drops below 35 degrees Celsius and can have severe consequences, including organ failure and death. Frostbite can also occur in cold weather when skin freezes and, in severe cases, can lead to amputation when deeper tissues freeze.
Those most at risk of cold-related illness are people experiencing homelessness or those under-housed, those who work outdoors, people with a pre-existing heart condition or respiratory illness, elderly people, infants and young children. People with heart problems can experience worsening of their condition up to several days after cold weather occurs.
During an Extreme Cold Weather Alert, members of the public are encouraged to take the following precautions:
• Check the weather report before going outside.
• Dress in layers, making sure your outer layer is windproof, and cover exposed skin.
• Wear a hat, warm mittens or gloves, and warm boots.
• Stay dry. Your risk of hypothermia is much greater if you are wet.
• Choose wool or synthetic fabrics for your clothes instead of cotton, because cotton absorbs and holds moisture, no longer keeping the wearer warm.
• Seek shelter if you normally spend long periods outside. Depending on the wind chill, exposed skin can freeze in minutes.
• Drink warm fluids other than alcohol.
• Warm up by taking regular breaks in heated buildings when enjoying winter activities outside.
• Consider rescheduling outdoor activities, or limiting time outdoors, during colder temperatures, especially if it's windy.
• Heat your home to at least 21 degrees Celsius if infants or elderly people are present.
• Call or visit vulnerable friends, neighbours and family to ensure they are not experiencing any difficulties related to the weather.
#ClimateGoals; #SixEssentialElementsIdentified; #ClimateStabilization; #CarbonNeutralBy2050; #PlanetarySustainability
Germany, Jan 28 (Canadian-Media): Six elements were identified, during a multi-faceted study by an international team of scientists and climate change experts, that drew upon workshopping, surveying, and an assessment of scientific and academic literature, which would most likely bring societal change towards climate stabilisation, planetary sustainability, and limit global warming by transitioning to a carbon-neutral state by 2050, media reports said.
Image Credit: Facebook
"From the energy sector to financial markets to our cities – we were able to pin down social tipping elements and identify concrete interventions that might activate contagious processes of rapidly spreading technologies, behavioural patterns, and social norms," says sociologist and economist Ilona M. Otto from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany.
It was acknowledged by the researchers that these identified mechanisms are not a complete list, but, they said, these serve as a roadmap to achieve "rapid socio-economic transformation pathways and explore narratives for a decarbonised future in 2050," Otto says.
The social tipping interventions, according to the research, that could help achieve our climate goals would be: removing fossil-fuel subsidies; building carbon-neutral cities; divesting from assets linked to fossil fuels; revealing the moral implications of fossil fuels; strengthening climate education and engagement; and disclosing information on greenhouse gas emissions.
Although many of these mechanisms are already in process but whether these have as yet led to a rapid societal transformation is debatable.
Nonetheless, researchers feel the phenomenon of school students conducting climate strikes is a positive sign of development.
"The movement is causing 'irritations' in personal world views and thus might be changing peoples' norms and values and the ways of thinking and acting, possibly leading to changes in policies and regulations, infrastructure development, as well as individual consumption and lifestyle decisions," the authors write in their paper.
What is needed is a broader shifts in society, business, and governance, to reduce friction hindering adoption of carbon-neutral lifestyles.
"Awareness of global warming is high but social norms to fundamentally shift behaviour are not," says PIK's director, Johan Rockström.
"This is a mismatch that science alone cannot fix. For individuals to live a carbon-free lifestyle must be made easy… but on the longer term a new social equilibrium is needed in which climate protection is recognised as a social norm, otherwise shocks on the financial markets or economic crises could destroy progress in decarbonisation."
Our success depends on "contagious dynamics", that spread exponentially and simultaneously within society, politics, the economy, and it's something that needs to happen, the researchers said.
#UN; UNEP; #Agriculture; #Forests, #AGRI3; #IDH; #FMO; #Fount; #CimateChange
Davos, Jan 27 (Canadian-Media): The USD 1 billion sustainable agriculture and forestry initiative “AGRI3” has been strengthened by two new cornerstone investors, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DMFA) and Robobank, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)'s news release said last week.
Agriculture and forestry. Image credit: Facebook
At the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 23, the DMFA announced that it will become an anchor public investor in the AGRI3 Fund by contributing USD 40 million – an amount matched by Rabobank, a cooperative bank with agricultural roots that has grown to become an international financial services provider. Together these contributions will mobilize commercial finance, which can be used to finance sustainable agriculture and accelerate forest protection.
UNEP is the leading global voice on the environment and provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
Rabobank is . Rabobank Group has a strong presence in the world’s major food & agriculture countries. As such, we are committed to our motto “Growing a better world together”: improve access to food, promote healthy nutrition and enhance the stability of the food industry.
“AGRI3 and similar land use facilities, catalyzed with the support of UNEP, are the cornerstone of the financial architecture for deforestation-free and nature-positive agriculture,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP. “We are very grateful to the Dutch government for their crucial contribution to the AGRI3 Fund. It is time for banks, investors, governments and agribusinesses to join institutions like Rabobank in financing sustainable food and forestry value chains, to save the climate, protect biodiversity, and ensure sustainable development.”
Forests are key to mitigating climate change
A growing demand for food is placing land and forests under tremendous strain. Seven million hectares of tropical forests disappear annually and emissions related to agriculture and tropical forest loss contribute 24 per cent to total global greenhouse gas emissions: more than cars and planes combined.
The AGRI3 Fund was created by UN Environment Programme and Rabobank, together with partner the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) -- promoting sustainable agriculture and forest protection through its Landscapes program -- and supported by FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank and investor, to mitigate climate change.
HE Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation: “The AGRI3 Fund provides a unique opportunity to contribute to forest protection and sustainable agriculture at scale, while also helping to transform the financial sector’s attitude towards sustainable investments.”
The AGRI3 Fund will be a role model for banks and other financial institutions and is open for other banks and investors to join. The UN Sustainable Development Goals agenda urgently requires sustainable agriculture initiatives at scale. The Dutch government grant will help unlock further resources from impact investors and financiers. Farmers and food producers who would not normally have access to these resources now have an alternative to finance their investments in sustainable food production.
Start of the AGRI3 Fund
Now that the Dutch government has approved the USD 40 million grant, the AGRI3 Fund will be up and running in the first half of 2020. Mirova Natural Capital, FOUNT -- an impact investment firm based in Amsterdam offering fund and investment management services for various sectors including agriculture -- and Cardano Development -- which empowers frontier financial markets with capital and create innovative and scalable solutions -- will act as investment advisors.
The fund will be open to participation by commercial banks aiming at sustainable agriculture and forest conservation. Linked to the fund, a dedicated Technical Assistance facility will be established, which will be managed by IDH. The AGRI3 TA facility will provide support to help potential projects become investment ready. It will also strengthen impact tracking and knowledge sharing from the AGRI3 Fund and its investees to spur growth of sustainable land use investments globally.
#UNEP; #2020TylerPrizeforEnvironmentalAchievement; #GreenEconomy; #TEEB; #GreenEconomyInitiative
New York, Jan 27 (Canadian-Media): Renowned environmental economist and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Goodwill Ambassador Pavan Sukhdev was awarded on Monday the 2020 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, recognizing his groundbreaking ‘green economy’ work, United Nations news release stated today.
Pavan Sukhdev, esteemed environmental economist and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, has won the 2020 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. Image credit: Leonardo Druscovoch
Mr. Sukhdev, who received the award alongside conservation biologist Gretchen C. Daily, was the Special Adviser and Head of UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative, a major project launched by then-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to demonstrate that greening of economies is not a burden on growth but rather a new engine for growing wealth, increasing decent employment, and reducing persistent poverty.
He was also appointed Study Leader (2008-2010) of the landmark initiative on ‘The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity’ (TEEB), a global UNEP-hosted study.
When the first TEEB report was published, during the peak of the 2008 global financial crisis, news outlets around the world began to dedicate headlines to the staggering cost of deforestation to the global economy.
The TEEB report would go on to become a foundation for the Green Economy movement – an achievement for which Mr. Sukhdev is being awarded the 2020 Tyler Prize.
“This award is equally a recognition of UNEP and its vibrant and active TEEB community,” said Mr. Sukhdev.
But he stressed that: “You don't have to be an environmentalist to care about protecting the environment. Just ask a farmer who now must rent beehives to pollinate his crops, because there are no longer enough bees in wild nature to do the job for free. But bees don't send invoices, so the value of their services is not recognized.”
Achim Steiner, former UNEP chief who’s currently the UNDP Administrator, has said: “Pavan Sukhdev and Dr. Gretchen Daily have generated groundbreaking insights into the economic value of our natural environment – prompting decision-makers to implement new measures to protect our planet’s ecosystems and biodiversity.
Having worked closely with Mr. Pavan over many years, Mr. Steiner added that he considered his work on the TEEB to be “truly transformative – it has generated a new narrative on the economic and social importance of nature’s services, and a new community of practice.”
Mr. Sukhdev currently serves the World Wildlife Fund as President and Chairman of the Board, as well as Board Member for TEEB Advisory Board, Stockholm Resilience Centre, and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative.
Often described as the ‘Nobel Prize for the Environment’, the Tyler Prize is administered by the University of Southern California.
On 30 April 2020, Mr. Sukhdev and Ms. Daily and will deliver a public presentation about their work at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City.
In a private ceremony on 1 May, the Tyler Prize Executive Committee and distinguished members of the international environmental community will join to honour the two new Laureates during a ceremony at the Intercontinental Barclay Hotel in New York City.
#UNHCR: #UNHumanRightsCommittee; #ClimateChange; #ICCPR
UNHCR, Jan 26 (Canadian-Media): UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes this week’s ruling of the UN Human Rights Committee in the case of Teitiota v. New Zealand, UNHCR news release said on Jan 24.
Kenya / Somali refugees / A mother and her two children follow a donkey cart packed with the family’s possessions relocate to Ifo extension from a self-settled area of Ifo camp in Dadaab, Kenya. The camp has seen an influx of close to 40,000 new refugees from Somalia since June, 2011. It is the largest refugee camp in the world. They are part of a recent exodus from Somalia due to continued civil war and the consequences of drought and famine./ UNHCR / B. Bannon / July 2011 Image credit: © UNHCR/Brendan Bannon
While the claim to protection by Mr. Teitiota was denied on grounds that he was not at imminent risk, the committee nonetheless determined that people who flee the effects of climate change and natural disasters should not be returned to their country of origin if essential human rights would be at risk on return.
This is a landmark decision with potentially far-reaching implications for the international protection of displaced people in the context of climate change and disasters. It also underscores the importance of countries taking action to prevent or mitigate against harms associated with climate change, which in future could otherwise force people to leave, triggering international obligations.
The following is a more detailed UNHCR assessment of this ruling:
UNHCR has consistently stressed that people fleeing adverse effects of climate change and the impact of sudden and slow-onset disasters may have valid claims for refugee status under the 1951 Refugee Convention or regional refugee frameworks. This includes but is not limited to situations where climate change and disasters are intertwined with conflict and violence. The Committee’s decision supports this interpretation of existing protection frameworks. It recognises that international refugee law is applicable in the context of climate change and disaster displacement.
Climate change and the impact of disasters resulting from natural hazards can have multiple effects on countries, communities, the well-being of individuals and their ability to enjoy and exercise their rights. This has consequences for the application of the 1951 Convention and regional refugee frameworks such as the OAU Convention and the Cartagena Declaration.
The Committee’s decision elaborates on the specific human rights which may be violated in the context of the adverse effects of climate change and the impact of disasters, including the right to life. The ruling notes that sudden-onset events and slow-onset processes can propel cross-border movement of individuals seeking protection from life-threatening risks.
UNHCR highlights the Committee’s finding that where such risks are imminent, it may be unlawful under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) for governments to send people back to countries where the effect of climate change exposes them to life-threatening risks (article 6) or where they are at real risk of facing cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (article 7 of ICCPR). The Covenant covers a broad range of civil and political rights that also apply to asylum-seekers and refugees. These include among others the right to life (article 6) and the right not be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (article 7).
The Committee importantly refers to the need for robust national and international efforts to avoid exposure of individuals to violations of their rights due to the effects of climate change. It warns that the risk of an entire country becoming submerged by rising sea levels is such an extreme risk, that before it is realized, conditions of life in such a country may become incompatible with the right to life with dignity. These references are also important alerts to States and the international community as a whole. They underscore the urgency of supporting prevention, risk mitigation, and adaptability measures in countries affected by climate change and of further enhancing cooperation of all to address what represents the most pressing challenge of our times. These actions are critical to avoid the need for individuals to feel forced to leave to avoid imminent harm, which could, as the Committee notes, trigger international obligations to protect.
#ClimateCrisis; #WEF; #ParisClimateAccord; #EmissionsOfCarbonDioxide
Davos (Switzerland), Jan 24 (Canadian Media): Greta Thunberg, Swedish climate activist along with about 10,000 protesters challenge political and business leaders of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss ski resort in Davos, Switzerland held between Jan 20 - Jan 23, to combat the climate crisis, media reports said.
A heated argument ensued between U.S. President Donald Trump and Thunberg earlier this week in the WEF Trump stated that US was committed to join the one trillion tree initiative to plant one trillion trees around the world launched by WEF and corporate leaders in Davos, Switzerland.
To this Thunberg had retorted that trees alone would not fix the climate crisis.
Thunberg, who has taken a year off school to advocate action on climate change, hit back on Twitter, saying it did not take a degree to know the world was not meeting its climate targets.
"So, either you tell us how to achieve this mitigation or explain to future generations and those already affected by the climate emergency why we should abandon our climate commitments," Thunberg, said days after addressing a packed panel at the Davos summit, where she has been a star attraction.
When U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin told Greta Thunberg on Thursday she should study economics, Thunberg said did not need a degree to know the world was not meeting its climate targets.
"The youth needs to understand: climate is one issue that needs to be put in contexts with lots of other things, Mnuchin said."
Angela Merkel, German Chancellor at WEF said in defence of Thunberg in Davos that attaining the goals of the Paris climate accord, which the United States has quit, was vital.
"Time is pressing, so we - the older ones, I am 65 years old - must make sure that we take the impatience of young people positively and constructively," Merkel said in her speech.
#UN; #WorldEconomicForuminDavos; #ClimateChange; UNClimateChange
Davos (Switzerland), Jan 23 (Canadian-Media): The world is “doomed” in the face of climate change unless major industrial nations reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, UN News release said.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. Image credit: World Economic Forum/Boris Baldinger
The UN chief observed that while many smaller developing countries and the European Union have committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, “the big emitters” have yet to act.
If the big emitters do not rally around the principle of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, “we will be doomed because they represent a very important share”, the UN chief said.
“The G20 represents 80 per cent of the emissions that contribute to climate change.”
Government action Mr. Guterres said Governments can take steps to help move the world towards a greener future, such as cutting subsidies for fossil fuels.
“As a taxpayer, I can’t really accept the idea that my taxes are used to boost hurricanes, or to bleach coral, or to melt glaciers”, he stated.
For the Secretary-General, climate change is the defining issue of our time, representing an “existential threat” to the entire planet and threatening development.
Mr. Guterres said he is encouraged by private sector commitment to the environment, as evidenced by increasing numbers of financial institutions and asset managers making carbon neutrality a priority in their investments.
Hope for ‘transformational decisions’ Similarly, cities, voters and young people have been mobilizing for action.
“I am hopeful that it will be possible to mobilize both the private sector and public authorities in order to take transformational decisions in the way we produce our food, power our economy, move, support industry and plan our cities - the transformational changes that are necessary for us, to reach the objectives that the scientific community tells us it is absolutely essential to do”, he said.