'Act now with ambition and urgency' to tackle the world’s ‘grave climate emergency’, UN chief urges UAE meeting
#ClimateEmergency; #Arcticpermafrostmelting; #Himalayanglaciersmelting;
New York, Jun 30 (Canadian-Media): The world is facing “a grave climate emergency”, Secretary-General António Guterres told a climate meeting in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital of Abu Dhabi on Sunday, urging all participants to “seize this opportunity to take bold climate action”, United Nations (UN) media reports said.
Farm land borders industry in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa (file).
Image Credit: World Bank/John Hogg
“Climate disruption is happening now, and it is happening to all of us”, he warned. “It is progressing even faster than the world’s top scientists have predicted”.
The UN chief lamented that it is “outpacing our efforts to address it” with each week bringing “new climate-related devastation” from floods, droughts, heatwaves, wildfires and superstorms.
Because of climate change, “all around the world, people are losing their homes and being forced to migrate”, he informed the meeting, adding that the situation “will only get worse unless we act now with ambition and urgency”.
Just last week, reports surfaced that “Himalayan glaciers are melting at double the rate since the turn of this century”, threatening water supplies throughout Central, South and East Asia, according to Mr. Guterres.
Moreover, he pointed out that “Arctic permafrost is melting decades earlier than even worst-case scenarios”, threatening to unlock vast amounts of the powerful greenhouse gas methane.
“It is plain to me that we have no time to lose,” Mr. Guterres said. “Sadly, it is not yet plain to all the decision makers that run our world.”
Even more worrying, he continued, “is that many countries are not even keeping pace with their promises under the Paris Agreement.”
Keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees at the end of the century will require “rapid and far-reaching transitions” in how we manage land, energy, industry, buildings, transport and cities, he stressed. “That is why I am convening the Climate Action Summit in September.”
The Abu Dhabi meeting, which is in preparation for the September Summit, aims to take stock of progress across all the areas that the Summit is looking to promote, from industrial transition to nature-based solutions to climate finance for both mitigation and adaptation.
“The Climate Action Summit is an opportunity for political, business and civil society leaders to set an example”, flagged the UN chief, “and here in Abu Dhabi, we are pointing the right direction”.
“Our Summit must be open, inclusive and honest, and the work we take forward must be effective, just and fair – for those on the frontlines of the crisis today and especially for the generations to come”, the Secretary-General concluded.
Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment said: “We are here today, in a region known for its hydrocarbon economy … and yet, through forward-thinking policies, we have now made solar the cheapest source of power.”
#SustainableCoolingSystem; #RachelKyte; #SustainableEnergyforAll; #ClimateChange;
#UN; #ParisAgreement; #SustainableDevelopmentGoals
New York, Jun 30 (Canadian-Media/UN): As global temperatures reach record highs, providing cooling systems which are effective, sustainable and which do not harm the environment is increasingly essential for everyday life. That’s according to Rachel Kyte, Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All, and Special Representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), UN reports said.
Sustainable Cooling. Image credit: environment.org
From the cold chain systems that maintain uninterrupted refrigeration during the delivery of food and vaccines, to protection from extreme heat waves globally – access to cooling is a fundamental issue of equity, and as temperatures hit record levels, for some, it can mean the difference between life and death.
UN News asked Rachel Kyte why she is so passionate about cooling.
What is sustainable cooling?
Cooling is essential to human health and prosperity. As the world rapidly urbanizes, warms and populations grow, cooling is an urgent development challenge that has important ramifications for our climate. It requires fast action to protect the most vulnerable, and is vital for economic productivity by allowing workers, farmers and students to work in comfortable environments.
Yet as cooling needs rise, we must meet these challenges in an energy-efficient way, or the risks to life, health and the planet will be significant. At the same time, they provide equally important business opportunities for companies or entrepreneurs who can design and produce hyper-efficient cooling devices at affordable prices for this rapidly growing market.
Providing Sustainable Cooling for All” report shows there are more than 1.1 billion people globally who face immediate risks from lack of access to cooling.
These risks are issues of both development and climate change, as they pose problems for the health, safety, and productivity of populations across the world – especially countries in Asia and Africa where access gaps are the largest. This challenge offers business and entrepreneurs the opportunity of major new consumer markets which require super-efficient, affordable technologies to meet their cooling needs.
How does cooling relate to the global goals? Sustainable cooling creates a direct intersection between three internationally agreed goals: the Paris Agreement; the Sustainable Development Goals; and the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment – with one of the key goals of the amendment to limit consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a potent greenhouse gas used widely in air conditioners and refrigerators.
As all countries have agreed to these goals, creating a national, hyper-efficient cooling plan that doesn’t risk a rise in emissions or peak energy demand will be critical to deliver sustainable cooling for all and meet global goals.
A clean energy transition is already underway globally that can provide affordable, safe and sustainable energy for all. We must now incorporate cooling for all needs within this transition, while keeping us on track to reach our global climate and energy goals.
Where in the world do people find it most difficult to access cooling?
Based on the “Chilling Prospects” analysis, of the 1.1 billion people who lack access globally, 470 million people are in poor rural areas without access to safe food and medicines, and 630 million people are in hotter, urban slums with little or no cooling to protect them against extreme heatwaves.
Nine countries have the biggest populations facing significant cooling risks. These countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America include: India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Indonesia, China, Mozambique and Sudan.
With global temperatures only set to rise, providing these populations with access to sustainable cooling will be critical to ensuring their safety.
To what extent does cooling contribute to global warming - especially in developed countries where air conditioning machines are widely used to cool high summer temperatures?
It is estimated that cooling is now responsible for about 10% of global warming and growing rapidly. Future choices about refrigerants, the efficiency of cooling technologies, and how cooling is powered will have a significant impact on achieving the Paris Climate Agreement. Previous research indicates that by 2050, work hour losses by country due to excessive heat and lack of access to cooling are expected to be more than 2% and a high as 12%.
With the destructive effects of climate change now being widely felt, government policy-makers, business leaders, investors and civil society must increase access to sustainable cooling solutions for all through benchmarking progress, access to cooling initiatives to protect the world’s most vulnerable populations from intensifying global heat and national cooling plans from government.
#ReduceEmissions, #CeanerVehicles; #Canada; #California
Ottawa, Jun 26 (IBNS): Catherine McKenna, Canada's environment minister had signed a memo of understanding with the chair of the California Air Resources Board, Mary Nichols, that Canada and California would work together to cut vehicles greenhouse gases to promote the use of cleaner-running vehicles, media reports said.
Catherine McKenna. Image credit: Official
California's pioneering efforts for low-carbon fuel standards in the United States was matched with Canada's aim to cut emissions by 30 million tonnes by 2030, the equivalent of taking seven million cars off the road.
"As the world's fifth-largest economy and a global leader in clean transportation, California is a leading example of how climate action can be good for people, the environment and the economy," said McKenna in a written statement.
"We look forward to working with California to fight climate change, keep the air clean and give drivers better options for a cleaner, more affordable vehicles."