Latest UN climate report outlines ‘atlas of human suffering’ – The Ticker
UN Secretary-General António Guterres called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed leadership. climatic”.
In light of the report’s focus on the impacts, adaptation and vulnerability surrounding climate change, António Guterres lambasted the world’s biggest polluters, blaming the “criminal abdication of leadership” as the culprit of disruption of global ecosystems and deadly natural disasters.
The second of three reports that UN climate scientists plan to release in phases, the assessment outlines the startlingly complex risks to future habitability on Earth and pressures governments around the world to pay more attention than ever before. priority to the protection of nature.
Emissions of dangerous levels of greenhouse gases such as CO2 and methane from human activity over the past two centuries have adversely affected the overall balance of the Earth-atmosphere system.
Historic droughts, floods and heat waves intensify and occur more frequently, events reported by IPCC “already exceed plant and animal tolerance thresholds, causing mass mortality in species such as trees and corals”.
International observation of these already disrupting ecosystem impacts has seen a telling shift in the language and strategies of climate scientists in these reports. The latest report reflects a rapid shift from verbiage about precautionary measures to “adaptability,” a transformational choice in the face of successive shifts in the global climate.
The report presents a myriad of risks as human society and nature interact with the impacts of climate change. Adaptable, biodiverse ecosystems occupy the space that directly mitigates the adverse effects of climate change and provides essential resources for human society.
The damage caused by climate change to the planet’s ecology was one of the main conclusions of the report, which was riddled with catastrophic warnings.
The interdependent nature of environmental and man-made networks projects a cascade of devastation upon humanity’s global infrastructure, economy, and security.
And the countries least equipped to deal with it are those directly in the line of fire.
“They have exposed millions of people to acute food and water insecurity, particularly in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, on small islands and in the Arctic,” the IPCC press release said. of February 28 on the report.
Amid an exacerbation of climate disasters in Earth’s southern and coastal cities, the impacts reveal gaps in the adaptability of human structures.
“Almost half of humanity lives in the danger zone – now,” António Guterres said when the report was released. “Many ecosystems are at the point of no return – now. Unchecked carbon pollution is forcing the world’s most vulnerable on a frog march towards destruction – now.
Guterres specifically called out the nations of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Although OECD member countries contribute only around 35% of global CO2 emissions, these countries and their partners together account for 80% of global trade and are well placed to directly influence critical trends in consumption and world trade.
The “Atlas of Human Suffering” extends to both developed and underdeveloped regions, and the report found that it does not discriminate against rural communities or highly urbanized cities.
New York City was specifically cited as one such region where “differences in vulnerability” vary across “social and economic processes,” including but not limited to wealth, gender, education, health, political power, social capital and social and ethnic marginalization.
New York City is an example of how the report highlights the responsibility of the developed world to come to terms with vulnerabilities not only limited to heat wave and flood management, but also with vulnerabilities in social structures. .
The stratification of human beings has increased the vulnerability of those already at risk, as slums and informal settlements become more common around the world. Urban development “outside formal parameters” makes it harder to protect people and their homes from climate-related risks, according to the report.
The trend of vulnerability continues as the report examines key infrastructure around the world. Electricity, gas and water networks heavily damaged by climatic events threaten the stability of tertiary tools, such as information and communication technologies. These tools make maintenance, delivery and access to resources impossible without them.
Despite all this gloom, UN scientists and advisers continue to elaborate on ways in which decisive resilient choices can create opportunities for climate relief.
“Cities also provide opportunities for climate action – green buildings, a reliable supply of clean water and renewable energy, and sustainable transport systems that connect urban and rural areas can all lead to a more inclusive society. and fairer,” said Co-Chair Debra Roberts. for an IPCC working group, said.