Climate Change Red Alert For Planet Earth and Inhabitants
A new United Nations study offers dire warnings about the irreversible consequences of climate change and what might happen next to our planet and its occupants.
An all too real meeting of about 200 experts gathered by the United Nations on Monday urging all nations to quickly join together to reduce emissions, portraying the situation at the time as a short window of opportunity to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change.
In other words, they were signaling a “Red Alert plea for humanity,’ to a world that too often listened, but their country’s political policy differed.
Despite the report’s shock, it was clear that some of the world’s biggest polluters, like China and the U.S., we’re unlikely to make the immediate shift away from fossil fuels. The energy shift is required to keep global average temperatures rising by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, or even 2 degrees Celsius, as set by the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Almost every country that signed the agreement is far behind schedule in meeting its obligations.
However, as their appeal echoed across the globe, it only served to highlight the magnitude of the task ahead: persuading the world’s largest polluters and most vulnerable nations to join forces in the face of severe worldwide danger to human survival.
The latest United Nations report said unequivocally that the world has been moving so slowly to reduce emissions that it is almost likely to fail one of its most fundamental objectives of limiting global warming.
According to the report, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have not been this high in at least 2 million years, and the last decade has likely been the warmest on record for the globe in 125,000 years.
And, in unusually blunt words, it said that human activity — namely, the combustion of fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal — was entirely to blame.
As a result, leaders of some of the most vulnerable countries in the world expressed displeasure with the report. They demanded that wealthy, industrialized nations immediately reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, compensate developing countries for the damage they had caused, and assist them in preparing for a perilous future.
“What science is now saying is happening in front of our eyes,” said Malik Amin Aslam, special adviser to the prime minister of Pakistan on climate change, whose country saw temperatures exceeding 122 degrees Fahrenheit last year.
Every day, “It’s like a hammer hitting us on the head every day.” Tensions over the report’s conclusions are expected to run through talks taking place ahead of a key United Nations summit.
The report concluded that humans are responsible for nearly all of the increase in global average temperatures since the nineteenth century, owing to the burning of fossil fuels, forest clearance, and the release of heat-trapping greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere.
Environmental organizations claim that the results would strengthen international legal tactics to hold fossil fuel corporations and governments responsible for their actions.
The study may be instrumental since it devotes a significant amount of attention to the regional impacts of climate change in contrast to past studies.
Environmental organizations may be able to develop better and more precise legal arguments as a result of this.
According to Morgan, Jennifer Morgan, the executive director of Greenpeace International, described the ruling as “like a turbocharge” for some of the legal tactics that Greenpeace and other groups have been pursuing in court for years.
Greenpeace successfully sued Royal Dutch Shell in a Dutch court earlier this year, using a previous United Nations investigation information.
According to Ms. Morgan, “I just anticipate the speed and magnitude of the demands for action—whether they are made in courtrooms, in the streets, or committee hearing rooms—will be clearer, louder, and more significant than they have ever been.”
According to the study, if greenhouse gas emissions remain at their current levels or are only marginally decreased, the result will be continuous warming and increasing impacts for the rest of the century at the very least.
However, if governments implement rapid and dramatic reductions in emissions, they will stabilize the climate at about 1.5 degrees Celsius warming relative to preindustrial levels.
The Earth has already warmed by about 1.1 degrees Celsius or approximately 2 degrees Fahrenheit in the last century.
According to the study, at this point, every fraction of a degree of warming will result in even more devastating floods, deadlier heat waves, harsher droughts, and accelerated sea-level rise, which may endanger the survival of certain island countries.
In April, the United States, which has traditionally emitted more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than any other nation, said that it would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by nearly half by the year 2030.
While it is an ambitious objective, it is only somewhat lower than the target set by the European Union and considerably lower than the target set by the United Kingdom.
According to John Kerry, President Biden’s climate envoy, the U.N.
According to the study, “all nations must take the bold measures necessary” to restrict global warming to levels that are considered safe.
The fact that existing United States laws and regulations are inadequate to achieve the country’s climate objectives was left out of the discussion.
Even though China continues to increase its greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, transportation, and industry, it remains the world’s largest current producer.
It intends to reach peak emissions by 2030, after which it will begin to reduce emissions until it no longer generates a net increase in carbon dioxide by 2060.
The Chinese government did not reply to the United Nations’ request for comment.
In a recent speech, China’s chief climate negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, expressed opposition to plans to establish new targets for global carbon reductions that go above the levels agreed upon by countries in 2015 as part of the Paris climate agreement.
As a result, Mr. Xie said at an event organized by a Hong Kong foundation that there was no need to rekindle the debate over the goal, adding that “our issue now is taking action and stepping up.” And in India, where emissions per capita are a fraction of those of wealthy nations while the country is growing rapidly, the government said the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals were a good starting point.
The results indicate that developed countries must do more to combat climate change.
New wording urging that all nations take greater action to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius has also met with resistance in India, claiming that rich countries have not yet completed their own climate-change goals.
The study may have given fresh impetus to the battle that the most vulnerable countries have fought with varying degrees of success in recent years to convince rich nations to pay for the climate-change-related losses that they are experiencing.
Wealthier nations must scale up their support “not just to safeguard our future generations, but also to protect our present generations,” she said.
The head of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development at the Independent University in Bangladesh, Saleemul Huq, said, “People are suffering, and someone has to pay the price for this.”
Following the recent approval of $472 million in funding to assist German citizens in recovering from recent devastating floods, he questioned why nations could not find money to help those countries suffering from disasters caused by climate change, which he said were the least responsible for causing it.
According to Mohamed Adow, the head of Power Shift Africa, a climate think tank located in Nairobi, the United Nations is responsible for protecting the environment.
The study foresees a bleak future, which some people are already experiencing.
The African leader said that “those of us who live in Africa have been aware of the severity of the climate issue for many years.”
“Lives and livelihoods have been destroyed,” Mr. Adow said, adding that “it is past time for us to act on the scientific statements.”
We're facing a future of climate extremes if things don't change