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Climate: UN chief urges developed countries to deliver on their pledges

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres makes remarks before the 2022 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.   -  
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Yuki Iwamura/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


The World meteorological organization unveiled Tuesday an alarming multi-agency report on climate. The UN chief called for urgent action.

The world continues to face climate shocks. A new multi-agency report coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), showed Tuesday that greenhouse gas concentrations were rising to record highs. According to the report, urgent action is needed to mitigate emissions and adapt to the changing climate.

"Heat waves in Europe, colossal floods in Pakistan, prolonged and severe droughts in China, the Horn of Africa and the United States, Antonio Guterres said. There is nothing natural about the new scale of these disasters. They are the price of humanity's fossil fuel addiction. The number of weather, climate and water related disasters has increased by a factor of five over the past 50 years."

The United in science 2022 report was drawn from data compiled by a number of U.N. agencies and partners. With increasing levels of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration, the UN chief pointed the finger at fossil fuels.

"This year's United in Science report shows climate impacts heading into uncharted territories of destruction. Yet each year we double down on this fossil fuel addiction, even as the symptoms get rapidly worse, even as we know the cure. Our leaders pledged in the Paris agreement to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees and build climate resilience. This year's United in Science Report shows that we are way off track."

Keeping promises

The multi-agency study cited a 48% percent chance that the landmark 1.5-degree Celsius rise in global temperatures will be hit in the next five years. The Un secretary general called developed countries to deliver on their pledges to finance developing countries climate adaptation: "It is a scandal that developed countries have failed to take adaptation seriously and shrugged off their commitments to help the developing world. The Glasgow decision urges developed countries to collectively provide 40 billion USD a year in new adaptation finance. And these must deliver in full as a starting point."

The UN chief’s call echoes a call by representatives of 24 African countries who met last week. They asked for help to meet their financial commitments to help the continent adapt to climate change. The chairman of the African Union (AU) and president of Senegal, Macky Sall, noted: "with bitterness, the absence of leaders of industrialized countries" at the Africa Adaptation Summit which took place Rotterdam on September 5.

A rise in temperature would lead to more failed rainy seasons and forced thousands to flee their homes especially the most vulnerable. According to the UN refugee agency, conflicts and natural disasters pushed tens of millions to flee within their own countries last year.

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