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With rapid, far-reaching changes, world can prevent climate change worst-case scenarios – UN chief

Limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees will require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society – especially how we manage land, energy, industry, buildings, transport and cities,” Secretary-General António Guterres, at a ministerial meeting on climate finance, in Bali, Indonesia.

“That means ending deforestation and planting billions more trees; drastically reducing the use of fossil fuels and massively increasing renewable energy; switching to climate-friendly sustainable agriculture.; considering new technologies, such as carbon capture and storage.”

In his remarks, the UN chief made a particular call for “climate friendly” investments, particularly in the infrastructure sector, where over $90 trillion in investments is expected by 2030.

“The next few years are critical [and] your leadership is needed,” Mr. Guterres told the ministers.

‘We cannot afford to ignore climate risk’

Highlighting enormous economic losses to climate-related disasters and projections that by 2050, climate change could reduce annual GDP in some South and Southeast Asian countries by up to 4 per cent, the Secretary-General underscored that climate risk cannot be ignored.

“We need a new economic framework that integrates climate and disaster risk in all aspects of finance, planning and budgeting,” he said.

We need a new economic framework that integrates climate and disaster risk in all aspects of finance, planning and budgeting

Alongside, effective economic policy and fiscal instruments are also needed, he continued, urging a “meaningful price” on carbon and an end to fossil fuel subsidies to promote low-carbon and climate-resilient growth.

He also called for “fundamental shifts” in climate financing, including government policies that can increase resources available for climate action.

“Governments need to encourage their banks to support green financing and innovative financial instruments – such as green bonds – and debt instruments that can strengthen the resilience of vulnerable nations,” said the UN chief, calling also for the mobilization of private sector financing.

In his remarks, he also called on countries to make full use of the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-24), to be held in Katowice, Poland, and to come out of the meeting with a robust framework that allows countries to operationalize and implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

“I count on all leaders to call on their negotiators to resolve all sticking points and insist on progress,” he said.

Article source: https://news.un.org/feed/view/en/story/2018/10/1023112

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At epicentre of Indonesia disaster, Guterres praises resilience of Sulawesi people

Following the series of devastating earthquakes, tsunami and landslides on 28 September in Indonesia, the death toll has risen to 2,010, with around 10,700 seriously injured and nearly 700 still reported missing, according to United Nations agencies on Tuesday.

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Nigeria floods: Guterres ‘deeply saddened’ by loss of life and rising need

With over 826,000 people affected by heavy flooding affecting most of Nigeria, humanitarian agencies continue to step up efforts to provide life-saving assistance, especially basic medical care, which is essential to prevent disastrous epidemics.

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Disasters: UN report shows climate change causing ‘dramatic rise’ in economic losses

The findings, published by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), also show that people in low- and middle-income countries are seven times more likely to die from natural disasters than those in developed nations.

“This puts a big emphasis on the need to…make sure that we curb greenhouse gas emissions,” said Ricardo Mena, UNISDR chief, in charge of implementing the Sendai Framework.

This puts a big emphasis on the need to…make sure that we curb greenhouse gas emissions – Ricardo Mena, UNISDR chief

Failing to do this, risks letting climate-related hazards get out of control, he told journalists in Geneva, before calling for greater investment in disaster risk-reduction measures, “so that we do not allow for countries to create new risk”.

In terms of the impact of disasters on the global economy between 1998 and 2017, affected countries reported direct losses of $2.908 trillion. That’s more than twice what was lost in the previous two decades.

Illustrating the growing threat from climate change, extreme weather events now account for 77 per cent of total economic losses, $2.245 trillion, the report notes.

This represents a “dramatic rise” of 151 per cent compared with losses reported between 1978 and 1997, which amounted to $895 billion.

Poorer countries most vulnerable, worst-hit

The increased vulnerability of poorer countries to disasters is illustrated by the fact that, in the last 20 years, only one officially high-income territory – the island of Puerto Rico – has featured in a league table of the top 10 economic losses as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP).

Last September, devastation in the US-dependency caused by Hurricane Maria contributed to overall losses since 1998, of more than $71 billion; the equivalent of 12.2 per cent of Puerto Rico’s GDP.

Apart from Cuba, which is classified as an upper-middle income country in the 20-year review, the other top 10 worst-hit nations, as a percentage of their output, are all lower-income.

Haiti – where a deadly 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck the north-west of the island just four days ago – recorded the highest losses, at 17.5 per cent of GDP.

In terms of fatalities from disasters, the report indicates that more than 747,000 people – 56 per cent of the total – died in the last two decades during major seismic events, a total of 563 earthquakes and related tsunamis.

Overall, however, more than 90 per cent of all disasters in the last 20 years were in fact floods, storms, droughts and other extreme weather events.

Heatwaves are next climate change ‘explosion’

Heatwaves are an increasing global threat for which solutions need to be found in the next five to 10 years, warned report co-author Professor Debarati Guha, from the Institute of Health and Society (IRSS), part of the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL).

“The next one that is going to hit us with an explosion is heatwaves,” she said. “It’s going to be both in poor countries, remember, human beings have a limit, a thermal resistance limit…it is also going to be a huge problem in the wealthier countries.”

 “We emphasize the need to reduce existing risk to strengthen the resilience of people and nations. Otherwise the success of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is going to be a very elusive target”, UNISDR’s Ricardo Mena said.

 

Article source: https://news.un.org/feed/view/en/story/2018/10/1022722

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Global warming report, an ‘ear-splitting wake-up call’ warns UN chief

The IPCC, or Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), issued the report from Incheon, Republic of Korea, where for the past week, hundreds of scientists and government representatives have been poring over thousands of inputs to paint a picture of what could happen to the planet and its population with global warming of 1.5°C (or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

Limiting global warming will require “far-reaching and unprecedented changes” to human behaviour, according to the panel. “We are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes,” said Panmao Zhai, Co-Chair of one of the IPCC Working Groups.

This report by the world’s leading climate scientists is an ear-splitting wake-up call to the world. It confirms that climate change is running faster than we are – and we are running out of time – UN chief Guterres

The landmark Paris Agreement adopted in December 2015 by 195 nations at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), included the aim of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate  change by “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

Tweeting shortly after the report was launched, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that it is not impossible to limit global warming to 1.5°C, according to the report. “But it will require unprecedented and collective climate action in all areas. There is no time to waste.”

In a statement released later in the day, Mr. Guterres said that getting there, would require “urgent and far more ambitious action to cut emissions by half by 2030, and reach net zero emissions by 2050.”

“This will take unprecedented changes in all aspects of society – especially in key sectors such as land, energy, industry, buildings, transport and cities,” he said, adding that “we need to end deforestation and plant billions of trees; drastically reduce the use of fossil fuels and phase out coal by 2050; ramp up installation of wind and solar power; invest in climate-friendly sustainable agriculture; and consider new technologies such as carbon capture and storage. 

“The coming period is critical. We must meet the Paris commitments to bend the emissions curve by 2020

Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), said on Monday in Geneva that there was “extreme urgency” needed on the part of Paris Agreement signatories, and “so far the progress hasn’t been good enough” to keep temperature rises below even 2°.

“There will be 420 million people less suffering because of climate change if we would be able to limit the warming to 1.5°C level and we have certain areas in the world which are extremely sensitive,” Mr. Taalas said. “Small island states, (the) Mediterranean region and also sub-Saharan Africa is already suffering and will suffer more in the future.”

It is still possible to limit global warming to 1.5°C, the WMO official continued, “but we should change many things how we run our everyday business today”.

Also in Geneva, a UN rights expert warned that failing to do more to address climate change risked “locking in decades” of grave violations.

“Climate change is having – and will have – devastating effects on a wide range of human rights, including rights to life, health, food, housing, and water, as well as the right to a healthy environment,” said David Boyd, Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment.

“The world is already witnessing the impacts of climate change — from hurricanes in America, heat waves in Europe, droughts in Africa to floods in Asia.”

Half a degree is a big deal

The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C, or more.

For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2°C.

 

Moreover, coral reefs, already threatened, would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all  would be lost with 2°C, according to the report.

“Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5°C or higher, increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems,” said Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.

Limiting warming ‘possible’ but we need to move faster

“Limiting warming to 1.5°C is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes,” said Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III.

With that in mind, the report calls for huge changes in land, energy, industry, buildings, and transportation-use and across cities everywhere. Global net emissions of carbon dioxide would need to fall by 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030, and reach “net zero” around 2050.

Allowing the global temperature to temporarily exceed or ‘overshoot’ 1.5ºC would mean a greater reliance on techniques that remove CO2 from the air to return global temperatures to below 1.5°C by 2100.

But the report warns that “the effectiveness of such techniques are unproven at large scale and some may carry significant risks for sustainable development.”

“Limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared with 2°C would reduce challenging impacts on ecosystems, human health and well-being, making it easier to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said Priyardarshi Shukla, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III, referring to the 17 Goals adopted by UN Member States three years ago to protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

‘Can’t fail’ moment in Katowice

The new report will feed into a process called the ‘Talanoa Dialogue,’ in which parties to the Paris accord will take stock of what has been accomplished over the past three years. The dialogue will be a part of the next UNFCCC conference of States parties, known by the shorthand COP 24, which will  meet in Katowice, Poland, this December.

The UN Secretary-General said that the Katowice conference was a “can’t-fail moment.”

 “The international community must emerge with critically important implementation guidelines for operationalizing the Paris Agreement,” he said, adding that all countries now needed to “heed the counsel of the world’s top scientists: raise ambition, rapidly strengthen their national climate action plans, and urgently accelerate implementation of the Paris Agreement.”

Article source: https://news.un.org/feed/view/en/story/2018/10/1022492

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FROM THE FIELD: Comoros farmers battle climate change

Increasingly unpredictable weather patterns including a severe decrease in rainfall have led to soil erosion and widespread deforestation as well as decreased crop yields.

A UN climate change expert panel determined in a special report on Monday that the world needs to move much faster and more dramatically, if global warming is to be contained to anything like the levels demanded by the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The Comoros sits some 300 kilometres off the coast of East Africa and is amongst the most underdeveloped countries in the world.

But now, a project backed by UN Environment has been launched to plant 350,000 trees per year across the three islands of the archipelago, in the hope that reforestation will protect the environment and boost development there.

Read more about the challenges that Comorian farmers face here.

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UN climate panel says ‘unprecedented changes’ needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C

The IPCC, the United Nations top climate panel, issued the report from Incheon, Republic of Korea, where for the past week, hundreds of scientists and government representatives have been poring over thousands of inputs to paint a picture of what could happen to the planet and its population with global warming of 1.5°C (or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

“One of the key messages that comes out very strongly from this report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes,” said Panmao Zhai, Co-Chair of one of the IPCC Working Groups.

The landmark Paris Agreement adopted in December 2015 by 195 nations at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), included the aim of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate  change by “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

Tweeting shortly after the report was launched, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that it is not impossible to limit global warming to 1.5°C, according to the report. “But it will require unprecedented and collective climate action in all areas. There is no time to waste.”

Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), said on Monday in Geneva that there was “extreme urgency” needed on the part of Paris Agreement signatories, and “so far the progress hasn’t been good enough” to keep temperature rises below even 2°.

“Climate change is already visible and it is having an impact on human beings and ecosystems all around the world…With 2° we will have ice-free summer in the Antarctic every year, but with 1.5° we would see that, only every 100 years,” he said, giving one example of how the world’s weather dramatically changes per half-degree.

“There will be 420 million people less suffering because of climate change if we would be able to limit the warming to 1.5°C level and we have certain areas in the world which are extremely sensitive,” Professor Taalas said. “Small island states, (the) Mediterranean region and also sub-Saharan Africa is already suffering and will suffer more in the future.”

It is still possible to limit global warming to 1.5°C, the WMO official continued, “but we should change many things how we run our everyday business today”.

Also in Geneva, a UN rights expert warned that failing to do more to address climate change risked “locking in decades” of grave violations.

“Climate change is having – and will have – devastating effects on a wide range of human rights, including rights to life, health, food, housing, and water, as well as the right to a healthy environment,” said David Boyd, Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment.

“The world is already witnessing the impacts of climate change — from hurricanes in America, heat waves in Europe, droughts in Africa to floods in Asia.”

Half a degree is a big deal

The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C, or more.

For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2°C.

 

Moreover, coral reefs, already threatened, would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all  would be lost with 2°C, according to the report.

“Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5°C or higher, increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems,” said Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.

Limiting warming ‘possible’ but we need to move faster

“Limiting warming to 1.5°C is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes,” said Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III.

With that in mind, the report calls for huge changes in land, energy, industry, buildings, and transportation-use and across cities everywhere. Global net emissions of carbon dioxide would need to fall by 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030, and reach “net zero” around 2050.

Allowing the global temperature to temporarily exceed or ‘overshoot’ 1.5ºC would mean a greater reliance on techniques that remove CO2 from the air to return global temperatures to below 1.5°C by 2100.

But the report warns that “the effectiveness of such techniques are unproven at large scale and some may carry significant risks for sustainable development.”

“Limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared with 2°C would reduce challenging impacts on ecosystems, human health and well-being, making it easier to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said Priyardarshi Shukla, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III, referring to the 17 Goals adopted by UN Member States three years ago to protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

The new report will feed into a process called the ‘Talanoa Dialogue,’ in which parties to the Paris accord will take stock of what has been accomplished over the past three years. The dialogue will be a part of the next UNFCCC conference of States parties, known by the shorthand COP 24, which will  meet in Katowice, Poland, this December.

Article source: https://news.un.org/feed/view/en/story/2018/10/1022492

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UN climate panel climate panel says ‘unprecedented changes’ needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C

Scientists from the United Nations-run Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and representatives from its 195 member governments, are meeting in South Korea, to reach agreement over a key summary for policymakers into the impact of a 1.5 degree Celsius increase in global warming, above pre-industrial levels.

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Access still an obstacle to reaching stricken communities on Indonesian island: UN agencies

According to the Government of Indonesia, the official death toll has reached nearly 1,600 people, amid unconfirmed reports that more than 1,000 people have been buried in a housing complex, in the city of Palu, which suffered the full-force of the deadly tsunami wave.

Drinking water has been identified as one of the most urgent needs in Donggala, one of the worst-affected districts on the island, along with shelter, healthcare and psychosocial support.

In other areas, electricity has been restored and markets have reopened. In the most badly affected places, however, access is still a significant obstacle, said Paul Dillon, spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration (IOM): “Part of the problem is that the areas that are closest to the tsunami; where the tsunami hit hardest, are literally buried in mud.”

“You have people circling those areas trying to get in but it’s literally inaccessible”, he said, adding that even standing just 200 metres from the remains of buildings “you can’t actually get into those areas because the mud is thigh- or waist-deep.”

Help has now reached some of the worst-affected communities including in Sigi, Palu and Donggala districts. But needs remain critical according to rescuers, including in the town of Banawa, said a spokesperson for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). 
 

 
“They’ve described this as the worst affected area,” said Matthew Cochrane. “All houses built along the coastline were swept away by the tsunami. Those who survived have sought shelter in the surrounding hills and their most urgent needs include emergency healthcare, shelter, blankets and diapers. There’s a lot of kids there apparently.”

In coordination with the Government of Indonesia, IOM is preparing to send an aid convoy from the south of the island to the north, where needs are greatest.

“Tomorrow morning, an 11-truck convoy will depart from Makassar carrying about 83,000 litres of water, in 19-litre plastic jugs that can be reused by the people in the area,” IOM spokesperson Paul Dillon said, adding the convoy was bound for  Donggala.

Providing emergency healthcare is also challenging, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which said that around 2,500 people have been seriously injured in the disaster.

“A lot of hospitals, clinics have been destroyed,” said spokesperson Jens Laerke. “So, if you are injured or wounded, you might have a lot of difficulty getting help there.”

The earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Palu, Central Sulawesi, on 28 September are estimated to have destroyed 10,000 houses and damaged a further 55,000. 
 

 
Many thousands of people are still too afraid to stay in their houses, especially at night, owing to the ongoing aftershocks. To help them, $15 million has already been released from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

On Friday, OCHA announced the launch of a $50.5 million appeal for immediate relief activities, to complement the Government response.

“The earthquake and tsunami effectively cut off much of Palu and Donggala for several days due to landslides and damage to infrastructure, and has created significant logistical and access challenges,” UN Resident Coordinator in Indonesia, Ms. Anita Nirody, said.

“The Response Plan outlines not only the immediate relief items that the international humanitarian community will prioritize, but also the logistics support needed to get aid to all those who need it.”

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UN chief commends India’s progress towards Sustainable Development Goals

Speaking at the closing session of the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention in New Delhi, Mr. Guterres noted Gandhi’s long record of advocacy and action on the issue, adding that the decision to begin marking the 150th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth – which takes place on 2 October next year – with the Convention, was a “fitting tribute to this great human being and example to us all.”

An estimated 2.3 billion people, said Mr. Guterres, still do not have basic sanitation facilities. Almost 1 billion defecate in the open, a practice that “poses a serious threat to children, contributing to diarrhoea and to malnutrition and stunting that has a lifelong impact.”

The UN chief outlined some of the many consequences and risks of poor sanitation, including disease, stunting and indignity, and pointed out that it “exacerbates inequalities between men and women, rich and poor, city and countryside. And it has major implications for human rights and human dignity.”

 

 He said that women and girls are disproportionately impacted, as they may face an increased risk of harassment and abuse, and higher health risks due to a lack of access to sanitation facilities.

Mr. Guterres went on to praise the Indian Government’s Clean India Mission, which seeks to achieve universal sanitation coverage, as the largest investment and largest mobilization campaign in the world.

He added that “All people have the right to safe water and sanitation. If we are to build resilient societies on a healthy planet and achieve the overarching ambition of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we must tackle this issue urgently, as is being done in India.”

The country, said Mr. Guterres, is well on target to reach the SDG of Sanitation for All – including for women, children, young people, people with disabilities, the elderly, indigenous peoples, the homeless, refugees and migrants – before 2030.

On Tuesday evening, the Secretary-General addressed the first general assembly of the International Solar Alliance, an organization initiated several years ago by the Governments of India and France in the build up to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which describes itself as a coalition of solar resource-rich countries.

The UN chief lamented the lack of political commitments to make the transformative decisions that will help to meet the goals set in the Paris Agreement: current commitments are falling far short of meeting the target of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and striving for 1.5 degrees.

At the same time, he said, the world is witnessing a “global renewable energy revolution,” with solar energy; now competitive with – and often cheaper than – fossil fuels, at the centre.

Renewables accounted for some 70 per cent of net additions to global power in 2017, and India has set a goal to mobilize $1 trillion towards the deployment of 1,000 gigawatts of solar energy by 2030.

Despite these positive developments, Mr. Guterres said that if we do not change course by 2002, we risk missing the opportunity to avoid “runaway climate change.”

This, he said, is why he is convening next September’s UN Climate Summit, with the aim of bringing climate action to the top of the international agenda, providing leaders and stakeholders with the opportunity to showcase their ambition.

Also on Tuesday, Mr. Guterres held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which he thanked Mr. Modi for the strong cooperation between India and the UN, especially in support of the UN chief’s organizational reform effort. The Secretary-General also underscored the leadership role that India plays in South-South Cooperation.

The Secretary-General also addressed a group of young people at the India Habitat Centre, where he spoke to them about global challenges and answered questions on challenges facing the international community, including the trust-deficit, growing attacks on multilateralism and climate change.

 

 

Article source: https://news.un.org/feed/view/en/story/2018/10/1022082

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Scientists from UN-run climate change panel to present key global warming report for world leaders

In 2015, the Paris Agreement to combat climate change set a long-term goal of keeping global average temperatures to well below 2°C, and pursue efforts to limit the increase to  1.5°C.

With relatively little known about the impacts back in 2015, the IPCC, which is co-sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), was commissioned to prepare a report that would define the likely risks and challenges of living in world which is either 1.5 degrees warmer, or 2 degrees.

Opening the week-long meeting, IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee said “Three weeks ago in New York, the UN Secretary General António Guterres described climate change as the great challenge of our time. But, he also noted that, thanks to science, we know its size and nature. Science alerts us to the gravity of the situation, but science also, and this special report in particular, helps us understand the solutions available to us.”

Underscoring the importance of climate action, South Korea, which is hosting the meeting, has experienced its hottest summer on record, with temperatures in some parts of the country topping 40°C for the first time on record.

Addressing the delegates, WMO Deputy-Secretary-General Elena Manaenkova said, “This year is, yet again, expected to be one of the warmest years. We have witnessed extreme weather ranging from record heat in northern Europe and historic flooding in Japan, India, southeast Asia and the southeastern United States. The consequences were devastating, but advance predictions helped save many lives.”

Subject to approval, the IPCC will release the Summary for Policymakers of the report at a press conference on 8 October. The full report is due to published in time for this year’s climate conference, COP24, due to be held in Katowice, Poland in November.

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‘The world we have received also belongs to those who will follow us,’ Holy See tells UN Assembly

“It is worth recalling here Pope Francis’ words: ‘a society without proximity, where gratuity and affection without compensation – between strangers as well – is disappearing, is a perverse society’,” said Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Secretary of relations with States of the Holy See, addressing the UN Assembly’s annual debate.

“The same dehumanization occurs when people are reduced to the crimes they may have committed, the country to which they belong or to their productive capacity,” he added.

Archbishop Gallagher noted the importance of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, to be adopted later this year in Marrakech, and said that together with the Global Compact on Refugee, they provide vital protection for those forced to flee their homes for a number of reasons and whose fundamental human rights are at most risk.

“The Holy See hopes that the Global Compacts will serve as useful tools for good migration management at every level and a common resource for achieving our shared responsibility in front of the plight of refugees, as well as reference points for international cooperation in the management of migration and the care for refugees,” he said.

The senior Holy See official also drew attention to the suffering of civilians in amidst myriad conflicts around the globe and urged States to honour their ‘responsibility to protect’, and highlighted importance of reconciliation and peacebuilding to resolve conflicts.

“Forgiveness is not opposed to justice, but it is rather its fulfilment, since it leads to the healing of the wounds that fester in human hearts while acknowledging the evil that has been committed,” he added, urging all religions to assist in the reconciliation efforts.

The Archbishop called for promoting equality in rights as well as the full and equal participation of women and men in society. He also outlined the challenges posed by poverty as well as from the impacts of climate change, urging “all efforts” towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

In that context, he expressed Holy See’s hope that the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-24), to be held in Katowice, Poland, will help reinvigorate action in support of the Paris Agreement.

Concluding his address, Archbishop Gallagher quoted Pope Francis: “intergenerational solidarity is not optional, but rather a basic question of justice, since the world we have received also belongs to those who will follow us.”

“While care for our common home benefits us, it is also a gift to future generations, sparing them from paying the price of environmental deterioration and ensuring that they are able to enjoy its beauty, wonder, and manifold endowment,” he said.

Full statement available here.

 

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