United Nations: key summit on climate ambitions

United Nations: key summit on climate ambitions

The summit on climate ambitions, which is being held this Wednesday at the United Nations headquarters in New York, comes at a time when the consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly visible in every corner of the world.

The conclave aims to accelerate action by governments, businesses, the world of finance, local authorities and civil society to push for immediate and deep emissions reductions, now and over the next three decades.

The urgency for action is underlined once again by the latest scientific assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The damage caused by the climate crisis is already great, and global greenhouse gas emissions remain at a record level, warns the UN.

Extreme weather conditions have hit several parts of the world this summer, as climate change increases the intensity of heat waves, causing fires, floods and severe storms.

Wildfires in Canada have burned an area the size of Iceland, while those in Greece have forced thousands of tourists to leave the island of Rhodes. Firefighters in Portugal brought under control a huge fire that led to the evacuation of several villages, while floods in the Libyan city of Derna left thousands dead.

In addition, the world just experienced the warmest June on record, with record sea surface temperatures and record low Antarctic sea ice extent.

Indeed, June was just 0.5°C above the 1991-2020 average, surpassing the previous record set in June 2019. Sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic were “off the charts”, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) noted. .

The report by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, which works closely with the WMO, shows the profound changes taking place in the Earth’s system as a result of human-induced climate change, the UN agency noted.

“Extreme weather – an increasingly frequent event in our warming climate – has a major impact on human health, ecosystems, economies, agriculture, energy and water supplies,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

“We must step up our efforts to help society adapt to what is unfortunately becoming the new normal,” he added.

The UN agency also stressed that while developed countries have increased preparedness levels, such as flood warnings and management, low-income countries remain vulnerable.

“As the planet warms, we are expected to see more intense and more frequent rainfall, leading to more severe flooding,” said Stefan Uhlenbrook, director of hydrology, water and cryosphere at the WMO.

The populations least responsible for the climate crisis are already suffering the consequences of climate change. Therefore, they need urgent help to adapt and recover from the losses and damages suffered.

Experts say urgent attention from governments and international financial institutions is needed to address this issue of equity and climate justice, so it is important that the summit highlights the collective global will to accelerate the pace and scope of a just transition to a more equitable global economy based on renewable energy. and resistant to climate change.

According to the United Nations, ambition, credibility and implementation will be the three main axes that will guide the design and outcomes of the Climate Ambition Summit.

At the summit in New York, government leaders are expected to present updated Nationally Determined Contributions to 2030, updated net zero targets, energy transition plans with commitments to phase out coal, oil and gas, plans to phase out fossil fuels and more ambitious renewables energy sources. energy goals.

All major emitters, including G20 governments, will be asked to commit to more ambitious nationally determined contributions by 2025, ensuring absolute emission reductions and covering all gases.

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