Thursday, May 03, 2018

Broken Pledges on Climate

 United Nations climate chief Patricia Espinosa, a former Mexican foreign minister,  told delegates from almost 200 nations that more storms, droughts and floods linked to man-made greenhouse gas emissions threatened “global destabilisation”. Espinosa said a three degree rise "will lead to nothing less than global destabilisation. It will cost lives. It will raise competition over resources, it will increase instability and conflict."

“Trying to address climate change at current financing levels is like walking into a Category 5 hurricane protected by only an umbrella,” she said. “Right now we are talking in millions and billions of dollars when we should be speaking in trillions. The impacts of extreme weather are already creating chaos.”  Espinosa said average world surface temperatures were set to rise by 3.0 degrees Celsius (5.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times, based on current commitments to curb greenhouse gas emissions.bThe Paris Agreement seeks to limit warming to "well below" a 2C rise.

 The vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions come from industrialized nations. Poorer countries in southern Asia, Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean have made scarcely any contribution to the planet's rising temperature. Yet they're paying the price for it acutely. Between them, the 47 LDC nations account for less than 2 percent of world's GDP. The majority (33) of these countries are in Africa. Another 13 are in Asia and the Pacific, and one is in Latin America. Together, they represent 12 percent the world's population and just 1 percent of global trade in goods. Until those responsible for most of the world's emissions change their ways, the problem will only get bigger and solutions further out of reach. 

For governments in developing countries, climate protection can seem like a luxury — when the population still lacks hospitals, electricity, or enough food to feed their children.Yet not taking action can make things even worse. For example, if agriculture doesn't adapt to more frequent floods or droughts, the economy will take a major hit.

 "The rich world could develop largely because it didn't control its carbon emissions," Meena Raman, a senior researcher at Third World Network, told DW. "Since it is far more responsible for the environmental crisis, it should help the poor." In 2010 the EU and other developed countries committed to raising $100 billion in climate aid each year by 2020. But the funds aren't coming fast enough. "That $100 billion is still very, very far away," Raman said. "There is no clear direction on how they are going to be mobilizing that resource." And even $100 billion is a drop in the ocean of challenges climate change poses to the developing world, Raman adds. 

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