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2021 Year in Review: Climate action, or blah, blah, blah?

2021 Year in Review: Climate action, or blah, blah, blah?

2021 Year in Review: Climate action, or blah, blah, blah?
Another steady stream of UN-backed UN reports this year reinforced the stark message that man-made climate change is a grave and imminent threat to all life on Earth. Will the international community’s efforts to address the crisis, as witnessed at the COP26 UN Climate Conference in Paris, lead to meaningful action?

Uncharted territory

Global temperatures must not rise more than 1.5 degrees above preindustrial levels to avoid catastrophic climate change. However, the likelihood of the world becoming hotter over the next five years is increasing.

The World Meteorological OrganisationsWMO) flagship The Global Climate Situation In April, a report warned that the average global temperature had risen by around 1.2 degrees. A UN Environment study in Oct revealed that unless there are better commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the world will continue to be insecure. On track to heat This century, it will be 2.7 degrees warmer.

Numerous UN agencies reported that the greenhouse gas concentrations were at an all-time high and that the planet is headed towards dangerously high temperatures. These are worrying implications for current and future generations.

Climate change is causing more extreme weather events. There were many more this year, including the Catastrophic flooding Many people died in July in several countries in Western Europe. devastating wildfires In Russia and the Mediterranean, August.

Data from WMOIt is clear that the rise in natural disasters over the past decades has disproportionately impacted poorer countries. Last year, it contributed to a record number of deaths. Food insecurity is increasingAfrica’s poverty and displacement

UNICEF/Vlad Sokhin Kiribati is experiencing increasing damage from flooding and storms, with most of its land at just a few feet above the sea level.

Bearing the brunt

Paradoxally, countries that are most affected by the climate crisis are also those who are least responsible for creating it. This is a point made by increasing stridency governments, activists, and others, who have helped to push adaptation higher up on the agenda.

2015 is all about adaptation. Paris AgreementClimate Change. It aims at reducing the vulnerability of different countries and communities to climate change by increasing their capacity to absorb its impacts.

However, with time running out, it is important to be flexible. Small Island Developing States They are at risk of being submerged by rising sea level, and there is a gap in financing to protect them.

A key UN Environment (UNEP) report in November Noted Even if countries turned off their emissions taps today, the climate impacts will continue for decades to come. Inger Andersen, UNEP chief, stated that we need to make a significant shift in funding and implementation for adaptation to reduce the damages and losses caused by climate change. We need it now.

Fossil fuels are still burning

If we want to limit temperature rises, we must also accelerate the global transition to cleaner energy sources and end the use coal.

While progress remains shaky on this front, the current plans state that governments will continue to make progress. Continue to produce fossil-fuel energy Sources in large quantities that will cause more warming despite better climate commitments.

Governments project an increase in global oil production over the next 20 years, while only a slight decrease in coal production. These plans together mean that fossil fuel production overall will rise, at least until 2040.

These findings were made public in the UN’s latest report Production Gap ReportThe profile included profiles for 15 major producers of fossil fuels, showing that most will continue supporting fossil fuel production growth.

The UN held an event to try and change the trajectory. High-Level Energy DialogueThis is the first such event in over 40 years. The national governments pledged to provide electricity to more than 166 million people around the world, while private companies pledged to reach just under 200 million.

The governments also pledged to add 698 gigawatts more renewable energy from solar, wind and geothermal. Businesses, including power utilities, promised to add an additional 823GW by 2030.

CIFOR/Terry SunderlandRestoring nature can help address climate and biodiversity crises.

Peace with the natural world

Extreme weather is on the rise. This is a sign that the natural world is responding to climate change. But, working with nature is one of the best ways for balance to be restored.

This will require significant investments and a rethinking of how we interact with the natural environment.

The UN has Estimate If the planet’s biodiversity and the communities that depend on it are to be preserved, then an area of land approximately the size of China must be restored to their natural state. Annual investments If the world is to address the triple threat of climate and biodiversity, it will need to triple its investment in nature-based solutions by 2030, and fourfold by 2050.

Antnio Guterres, UN chief, called for countries to work together to ensure a sustainable world for people and planet. Biodiversity Conference Opened in October. The second part is scheduled for Spring 2022.

The conference will provide a global roadmap to the conservation, protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems over the next decade.

WFP/Badre Bahaji Improved irrigation systems in developing countries support livelihoods and help achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Show me the money

Renewable energy is the best source of energy. Electric transportThere are many solutions to the climate crisis. Many believe it is the greatest existential threat in our time. It is not clear, however, where the money will come.

In support of climate action in developing nations, developed countries pledged to mobilize $100 billion annually by 2020 more than a decade ago. The goal has not been achieved.

The business world is starting to recognize that climate investments can be profitable. Going solar in most countries is now more affordable than building new coal power plant. By 2030, clean energy investments could create 18,000,000 jobs.

October saw 30 CEOs and senior executives of major companies who collectively accounted for $16 trillion. Attended a meeting Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance (GISD Alliance), to develop guidelines for investment and products that integrate the existing finance and investment system with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The GISD Alliance, which was established in 2005, has created standards and tools to help finance a more sustainable future.

GISD released its latest tool this year to accurately measure companies’ impact on sustainable development targets. Investors will also be able to gain key insights. The group is currently creating funds to finance the Goals.

UN News/Laura Quiones Demonstration outside the COP26 Climate Conference at Glasgow, Scotland. It represents the victims of climate crisis.

COP26: Promising the Earth

The COP26 UN Climate Conference in Glasgow, November, was the main climate change event of the year.

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This two-week intensive event was convened in order to go beyond the Paris Agreement of 2015 Conference and actually work out the details of turning these promises into concrete action.

There were many. WarningsThere were warnings that COP26 would not bring the desired results. huge demonstrations Witnessed in Glasgow by UN News team on ground – and all around the globe, from people from all ages calling for more action from governments

Some COP veterans felt a change in the atmosphere. There was more positivity and a sense of possibility that something tangible could be achieved. Major pledge To restore the world’s forests. This list includes commitments from both public and private sector actors to combat global warming, curb biodiversity destruction, and hunger, and to protect the rights of indigenous peoples.

“A potential solution to the climate finance question seemed to be coming on,”finance day“, with the announcement by nearly 500 global financial institutions that they had agreed to align $130 trillion, or 40%, of the worlds financial resources with the climate goals set forth in the Paris Agreement. This includes limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Many world leaders were disappointed by the finance negotiations held in Glasgow.

Bhutan, representing the Group of Least Developed Countries (LDC), lamented that countries’ public statements are often different from what is heard at negotiations.

We came to Glasgow with high hopes. The representative of the country said that we need to make strong commitments in order to ensure the survival and well-being of the billion people who live in the LDCs. adaptation day.

On energy dayThe Global Clean Power Transition Statement was released. This statement outlined a commitment not to invest in coal, to scale up clean energy, make a just transition and phase out all coal-based investments by the 2030’s in major economies and 2040’s elsewhere.

There are 77 members, including 46 countries like Chile, Vietnam, and Poland, which have all made commitments to ending coal for the first-time. The largest coal financers, China, Japan, and Republic of Korea, did not join.

UN News/Laura QuionesNegotiators celebrate the close of the United Nations Climate Summit, COP26. It was held in Glasgow, Scotland, from 31 October to 31 October. The conference sought to create new global commitments in order to combat climate change.

Keep moving forward

The final agreement of COP26 was not without drama and heartbreak. Alok Sharma was the chairperson at the final, delayed plenary session. Moved to tears During the tension-filled negotiations, India intervened in the last minute to change the wording relating to fossil fuels. This caused some fury from some countries.

However, The agreement This conference was notable for including the words fossil fuels for the first time at a COP (rather than the original phase-out, much to the chagrin and dismay of Mr. Sharma)

Some commentators believe the agreement didn’t go far enough to save humanity from a climate-related disaster. Others see hope in how the negotiations were conducted and the possibility of tangible, worthwhile steps towards a sustainable world for people and the environment at each COP.

I am sorry for your disappointment. The path to progress is not always straight. The UN Secretary-General said thisIn response to the deal. Sometimes there are detours. Sometimes there are also ditches. But I know we can do it. We are fighting for our lives and we must win this fight. Never give up. Never give up. Never stop moving forward.

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