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Emissions Gap Report 2020: Where we are & where we should be to avoid catastrophe


Highlights

  • The United Nations Environment Programme has released their Emissions Gap Report for 2020, highlighting where greenhouse gas predictions for 2030 are and how the world can avoid climate disaster
  • Currently, the world is headed for temperature rise in excess of 3°C this century and 2020 has likely to be the warmest year on record
  • Around 126 countries covering 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions had adopted, announced or were considering net-zero goals at the time this report was written, signifying that various countries are attempting to do their part to reduce emissions
  • Governments must go greener in the next stage of COVID-19 fiscal interventions to kick-start faster action on climate change

Scientists are increasingly warning that to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change, the world’s governments must implement policies for massive greenhouse gas emissions reductions and begin a drawdown of carbon from the atmosphere within ten years. With 9 of 15 global tipping points now active, what we do today can either unleash an inhospitable hothouse Earth or secure a safe climate well into the future. For a safe and healthy future for all, endorse the Climate-Safe California Platform to implement scalable solutions that can reverse the climate crisis.


Read the Full Report: https://www.unep.org/interactive/emissions-gap-report/2020/

‘We essentially cook ourselves’ if we don’t fix air conditioning, major UN report warns

by Dharna Noor, Gizmodo


Highlights

  • A new report from the United Nations shows that 460 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions could be avoided worldwide by switching to energy-efficient, climate-safe air conditioning
  • There are 3.6 billion cooling appliances, including refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioning units in use around the globe
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), chemicals that were once used in air conditioning units, among other products, were banned after the Montreal Protocol. However, their replacement, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are also negatively impacting the climate as they are 11,700 times more warming than carbon dioxide
    • In 2019 governments adopted the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol in order to phase out HFCs
    • Doing so could avoid as much as 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit of warming if adopted globally
    • However, major emitters such as the US and India are two of the 90 countries that have not signed on
  • Doubling the energy efficiency of air conditioners could save up to $2.9 trillion by 2050
  • Promoting the construction of energy-efficient housing with alternative cooling options like green roofs will reduce the world’s need for air conditioning

Fossil fuel divestment and the transition to 100% clean energy is critical to achieving The Climate Center’s goals under the Climate-Safe California Platform.


Read More: https://earther.gizmodo.com/we-essentially-cook-ourselves-if-we-don-t-fix-air-con-1844416667

Higher and further education institutions across the globe declare climate emergency

by UN Environment

Today, networks representing more than 7,000 higher and further education institutions from 6 continents announced that they are declaring a Climate Emergency, and agreed to undertake a three-point plan to address the crisis through their work with students.

The three-point plan includes:

1. Committing to going carbon neutral by 2030 or 2050 at the very latest;

2. Mobilizing more resources for action-oriented climate change research and skills creation;

3. Increasing the delivery of environmental and sustainability education across curricula, campus and community outreach programmes.

Read more: https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/press-release/higher-and-further-education-institutions-across-globe-declare

Tax carbon, not people: UN chief issues climate plea from Pacific ‘frontline’

by Kate Lyons, The Guardian

Governments around the world must introduce carbon taxes, halt plans for new coal plants and accelerate the closure of existing ones if damage to the Pacific from climate change is to be limited, the UN secretary general has told Pacific leaders on his first visit to the region.

Antonio Guterres met leaders of Pacific countries in Fiji, on a trip that will also see him visit Vanuatu, considered one of the countries most vulnerable to natural disasters due to climate change, and Tuvalu, which is at risk of sinking under rising waters.

Speaking after meetings in Suva on Wednesday, Guterres acknowledged the region was “on the frontline of climate change” and its people were “important allies in the fight against it”.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/15/tax-carbon-not-people-un-chief-issues-climate-plea-from-pacific-frontline?CMP=twt_a-environment_b-gdneco

Disasters make 14 million people homeless each year – UN

by Adela Suliman, Thomson Reuters Foundation


LONDON, Oct 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – About 14 million people are being made homeless on average each year as a result of sudden disasters such as floods and storms, new figures show.


The risk of displacement could rise as populations swell and the impacts of climate change become more severe, said a report issued on Friday by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).


Earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and tropical cyclones are the main disasters forecast to uproot large numbers of people, with countries in Asia, home to 60 percent of the world’s population, hit particularly hard, according to modelling by the agencies.


Eight of the ten countries with the highest levels of displacement and housing loss are in South and Southeast Asia.


They include India, where an average of 2.3 million people are forced to leave their homes annually, and China with 1.3 million people uprooted each year, found the report, released on the International Day for Disaster Reduction.


The numbers exclude those evacuated ahead of a threat, and people displaced by drought or rising seas.


Russia and the United States also feature as countries where disasters could cause large-scale homelessness, unless significant progress is made on managing disaster risk, the study said.


“The findings underline the challenge we have to reduce the numbers of people affected by disasters,” said Robert Glasser, the U.N. secretary-general’s special representative for disaster risk reduction.


“Apart from death or severe injury in a disaster event, there is no more crushing blow than the loss of the family home,” he added in a statement.


The most devastating floods to hit South Asia in a decade killed more than 1,400 people this year, and focused attention on poor planning for disasters, as authorities struggled to assist millions of destitute survivors.


Refugees and people uprooted in their own countries are already at record-high numbers, said IDMC director Alexandra Bilak. The new model goes some way towards predicting the risk of disaster-related displacement, which is an “urgent, global priority”, she noted.


It is also intended to help urban planners in hazard-prone towns and cities who must consider the safety and durability of built-up areas and the threats to millions living there. Justin Ginnetti, head of data and analysis at the IDMC, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation there was a strong correlation between the risk of being uprooted by a disaster and residing in a rapidly urbanising location.


With the poor often living on the outskirts of cities, on flood plains or along river banks, Ginnetti said better urban planning could make them less vulnerable.


He contrasted Japan and the Philippines, which have roughly the same number of people exposed to cyclones. Japan builds more robust housing and so faces far less displacement in a disaster than the Philippines, where homes are less able to withstand shocks, he said.
“We don’t want people to think of disaster displacement as some kind of inevitable act of God – this is not (a) necessary outcome every time there’s heavy rainfall,” he said.

source: http://news.trust.org/item/20171012220648-5cgyb/