Managing Expectations: Climate Action Not A Quick Fix

A sign of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) hosting the 50th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is seen at the entrance of the headquarters, on August 2, 2019 in Geneva. PHOTO: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

 

Slashing greenhouse gas emissions would probably not yield visible results until mid-century, researchers have said, cautioning that humanity must manage its expectations in the fight against global warming.

Even under optimistic scenarios in which carbon pollution falls sharply, climate change will continue for decades, they reported Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

“We need to be patient,” said lead author Bjorn Samset, a scientist at the Center for International Climate Research in Oslo, Norway.

“All reductions in warming emissions will lead to less heat being absorbed,” he said.

“But for temperature — which is what we care about — it will take decades before we will be able to measure the effect.”

Two factors will make it difficult to feel and measure a drop in Earth’s surface temperature, if and when that happens.

One is lag time.

Over the last half-century, human activity has loaded the atmosphere with more than a trillion tonnes of planet-warming CO2, a gas that lingers for hundreds of years.

“Human-induced climate change can be compared with an ocean tanker at high speed in big waves,” said Samset.

“You can put the engine in reverse, but it will take some time before you start noticing that the ship is moving more slowly.”

The second factor is natural variability.

Over the last half-century the planet has warmed 0.2 degrees Celsius every decade, mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels.

“But from one year to the next, there are also large variations on a similar scale,” said Samset, comparing them to waves rocking the ship back and forth.

– ‘No quick fix’ –

In their study, Samset and colleagues projected the impact of reducing the two main greenhouse gases — CO2 and methane — as well as soot, sometimes called “black carbon”.

On a 100-year timescale, methane — with more “warming potential”, but less long-lasting — is about 28 times more potent than CO2.

Its main manmade sources are livestock, agriculture, and leaks from the natural gas industry.

Produced mostly by burning fossil fuels, CO2 accounts for more than three-quarters of global warming.

Even with rapid cuts in these gases, it will be nearly impossible to detect a clear impact on global warming before 2035, the researchers said.

In a more realistic scenario, “these efforts could all be visible by mid-century, but not before”, the study concluded.

Reducing soot was found to have negligeable impact.

Scientists not involved in research said it served as a reminder of what we are up against.

“The study reinforces our understanding that climate change is a long-term problem that will not simply disappear if all human-related emissions stopped tomorrow,” said Grant Allen, a professor of atmospheric physics at the University of Manchester.

“There is no quick fix.”

– ‘Unnecessarily gloomy’ –

For Andrew Watson, a Royal Society research professor at the University of Exeter, bending the curve of global warming “is like turning a supertanker”.

“We have spent many decades steering it in the wrong direction, and it will take decades for the results of climate mitigation to be obvious.”

But Piers Forster, a climate change professor at the University of Leeds, said the findings were “unnecessarily gloomy”.

Research has shown that with serious effort, society can have a “discernable cooling effect on Earth’s temperature over the next 15-20 years,” he said.

AFP

Critical Climate Change Talks Postponed Until 2021

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg gives a speech during a high-level event on climate emergency hosted by the Chilean presidency during the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 at the ‘IFEMA – Feria de Madrid’ exhibition centre, in Madrid, on December 11, 2019. CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP

 

Critical UN climate negotiations at which nations were expected to ramp up plans to combat global warming have been pushed back a full year to November 2021, British politician Alok Sharma, president of the talks, announced on Twitter Thursday.

“Pleased to have agreed a new date for @COP26,” wrote Sharma, Britain’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

“COP26 will now take place between 1 and 12 November 2021.”

Britain proposed the new dates for the Glasgow conference — which had already been suspended — in a letter to the UN climate forum, citing health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the need for more time to prepare the 30,000-strong meet.

The revised schedule was vetted and approved Thursday night.

Possible drawbacks of the delay were laid out in a briefing note, obtained by AFP, prepared ahead of the deliberations.

“A broadly shared concern relates to the potential loss of momentum in the UNFCCC process,” the note said, using the acronym for the UN climate body.

One 2020 deadline in the original schedule was the submission of revised — and hopefully more ambitious — “nationally determined contributions”, each country’s plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Current national pledges submitted in annex to the 2015 Paris Agreement would allow the planet’s surface to warm at least three degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, far above the ceiling of “well below” 2C — and 1.5C if feasible — agreed to in the landmark treaty.

The UN’s climate science advisory panel, the IPCC, has made it clear that time is not on our side, especially if global warming is to be capped at the safer level of 1.5C.

CO2 pouring into the atmosphere must be halved by 2030, and reach “net zero” by mid-century, if that more ambitious goal is to be met, the IPCC concluded.

Economic fallout from the pandemic is projected to reduce global CO2 emissions this year by 4 to 7 percent, but will have scant impact on global warming’s long-term trajectory, according to a recent study in Nature Climate Change.

Climate not on hold

Most observers endorsed the postponement, but cautioned against inaction.

“Shifting the date of COP26 is understandable, but there can be no let-up in tackling the climate crisis,” said Andrew Steer, president and CEO of the World Resources Institute in Washington DC.

Trillion-dollar recovery packages across Europe, North America and East Asia offer a “once-in-a-generation moment to rebuild societies to be more sustainable, equitable, resilient and healthy,” he said in a statement.

Global warming continues to gather pace, other experts pointed out.

“The coronavirus pandemic has not placed the climate crisis on hold, as the continuing spate of extreme weather across the world makes clear,” said Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington DC.

Last week, south Asia’s first super cyclone in two decades ravaged eastern India, including Kolkata, while northern India was hit by searing heatwaves and locust swarms linked to climate change.

Scientists in the United States, meanwhile, warned of a more severe-than-usual Atlantic hurricane season.

Other important environmental conferences have also been pushed back.

The critical COP15 UN conference on biodiversity, originally slated for October this year, will almost certainly “not happen before May,” a source involved in its organisation told AFP.

A quadrennial meeting in Marseille of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which manages the Red List of endangered species, was postponed from June to January 2021.

Gretha Thurnberg Displeased With New EU Climate Plan

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg attends a session at the Congres center during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, on January 21, 2020.  Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg attends a session at the Congres center during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, on January 21, 2020. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

 

Teenage eco-warrior Greta Thunberg branded the EU’s grand plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 inadequate on Wednesday and said Europe is falsely claiming to lead the world on climate.

The European Union must stop “pretending that you can be a climate leader and still go on building and subsidising new fossil fuel infrastructure,” the Swedish activist told a committee hearing at the European Parliament.

Thunberg was addressing MEPs as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a new draft law that Brussels has hailed as the cornerstone of Europe’s “Green Deal” to fight climate change.

The 17-year-old said that despite “disregarding” science, the EU was hoping its plan “will somehow solve the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced”.

“This must come to an end,” she said.

Earlier, Thunberg had been a guest at a meeting of top EU officials that approved a proposal to enshrine into law the EU’s ambition of net zero carbon emissions by mid-century.

This would bind the EU’s 27 member states to balance polluting emissions and the removal of greenhouse gases — such as by using carbon capture technology or reforestation — within the next 30 years.

The law, once ratified, would also give the EU executive new powers to impose emission targets on member state governments.

“When your house is on fire, you don’t wait a few more years to start putting it out,” said Thunberg.

“When the EU presents this climate law and net zero by 2050 you indirectly admit surrender, that you are giving up,” she said.

 

AFP

UK To Ban Sale Of Petrol Cars From 2035

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson sits in a hydrogen-fuelled prototype car during a visit to The Industry Centre at the University of Sunderland in Sunderland, northeast England, on January 31, 2020. SCOTT HEPPELL / POOL / AFP
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson sits in a hydrogen-fuelled prototype car during a visit to The Industry Centre at the University of Sunderland in Sunderland, northeast England, on January 31, 2020. SCOTT HEPPELL / POOL / AFP

 

Britain will bring forward a ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2035, including hybrids, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was to announce on Tuesday.

Johnson was to make the announcement at an event launching the 2019 United Nations Climate Change conference, COP26, which will be held in Glasgow in November.

The changes bring forward the ban by five years — and now include hybrid vehicles.

Britain has pledged to reduce  greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, with a mixture of cuts and off-setting pollution measures such as planting trees.

“Hosting COP26 is an important opportunity for the UK and nations across the globe to step up in the fight against climate change,” Johnson said.

“As we set out our plans to hit our ambitious 2050 net zero target across this year, so we shall urge others to join us in pledging net zero emissions.

“2020 must be the year we turn the tide on global warming — it will be the year when we choose a cleaner, greener future for all.”

At the COP26 launch event in London, Johnson was to be joined by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and naturalist David Attenborough.

Johnson will urge other countries to join Britain in striving towards the 2050 net zero emissions goal through investment in cleaner technology and efforts to protect natural habitats.

Edmund King, president of Britain’s AA motoring association, said the new target on car sales was incredibly challenging.

“We must question whether we will have a sufficient supply of a full cross-section of zero emissions vehicles in less than 15 years,” he said.

He also urged the government to cut the sales tax on electric vehicles to make them more affordable.

 

AFP

Ugandan Climate Activist Calls Out Media Racism After Being Cropped Out

Vanessa Nakate was cropped out of a photo posted by AP, a US news agency
Vanessa Nakate was cropped out of a photo posted by AP, a US news agency

 

Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate has called out racism in the media after she was cropped out of a photo featuring white activists including Greta Thunberg, Loukina Tille, Luisa Neubauer and Isabelle Axelsson.

Nakate made the comment in a video on social media which went viral and sparked discussions around representation in the climate change movement.

 

“We don’t deserve this. Africa is the least emitter of carbons, but we are the most affected by the climate crisis,” Nakate said. “You erasing our voices won’t change anything. You erasing our stories won’t change anything.”

The group of activists had given a news conference in Davos on Friday when Nakate was then cropped out of a published version by the Associated Press, a US news agency.

The AP’s director of photography, David Ake, told Buzzfeed UK that, under tight deadline, the photographer “cropped it purely on composition grounds”.

“He thought the building in the background was distracting,” Ake said.

The AP has since replaced the cropped photo with its original, claiming “no ill intent”.

Nothing Has Been Done To Fight Climate Change – Gretha Thunberg

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg attends a session at the Congres center during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, on January 21, 2020. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

 

Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg on Tuesday slammed the business elite for doing “basically nothing” on climate change, as the Davos forum braced for an address from US President Donald Trump hours before his impeachment trial begins.

The 50th meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss Alps resort got underway seeking to thrash out dangers to both the environment and economy from the heating of the planet.

Trump, who has repeatedly expressed scepticism about climate change, is set to give the first keynote address of Davos 2020, on the same day as his impeachment trial opens at the Senate in Washington.

Before his appearance, Thunberg underlined the message that has inspired millions around the world, saying “basically nothing has been done” to fight climate change.

“It will require much more than this. This is just the very beginning,” the 17-year-old said.

Speaking calmly and with a wry smile, Thunberg acknowledged that her campaign which began with school strikes had attracted huge attention without yet achieving concrete change.

“There is a difference between being heard to actually leading to something,” she said.

“I am not the person who should complain about not being heard,” she said to appreciative laughter.

“I am being heard all the time. But the science and the voice of the young people are not at the centre of the conversation.”

While the WEF and individual business leaders have been detailing their own concerns about climate change, Greenpeace complained in a new report that some of the world’s biggest banks, insurers and pension funds have collectively invested $1.4 trillion in fossil fuel companies since the Paris climate deal in 2016.

“Pretty much nothing has been done as global Co2 emissions have not been reduced. And that is of course what we are trying to achieve,” said Thunberg.

Davos showdown? 

There are no expectations that Trump and Thunberg, who have exchanged barbs through Twitter, will actually meet, but the crowded venue and intense schedule mean a chance encounter cannot be ruled out.

When Trump and his entourage walked through UN headquarters last year at the annual General Assembly, a photo of the teenager staring in apparent fury at the president from the sidelines went viral.

Tweeting before arriving in Davos aboard his Marine One helicopter, Trump appeared in bullish mood, writing he would “bring Good Policy and additional Hundreds of Billions of Dollars back to the United States of America!”

Although Trump’s Republican party holds a majority in the Senate and is almost sure to acquit him on charges of abusing his power and obstructing Congress, the impeachment adds volatility to an already tense 2020 presidential election.

 ‘Governments continue to fail’ 

Sustainability is the buzzword at the Davos forum, which began in 1971, with heel crampons handed out to participants to encourage them to walk on the icy streets rather than use cars, and the signage paint made out of seaweed.

Trump’s opposition to renewable energy, his withdrawal from the Paris accord negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama, and the free hand extended to the fossil fuel industry puts him at odds with this year’s thrust of the event.

“People are playing a lot more attention to” climate, Eurasia Group president Ian Bremner told AFP at Davos, adding there was “genuine action by some big players”, after investment titan BlackRock said it was partially divesting out of coal.

“But let’s be clear — a big part of this is because we failed for a very long time and governments continue to fail,” he added.

Business leaders are likely also to be concerned by the state of the global economy whose prospects, according to the International Monetary Fund, have improved but remain brittle.

The IMF cut its global growth estimate for 2020 to 3.3 percent, saying that a recent truce in the trade war between China and the US had brought some stability but that risks remained.

“We are already seeing some tentative signs of stabilisation but we have not reached a turning point yet,” said IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva.

Activists meanwhile will be pressing for much more concrete action to fight inequality, after Oxfam issued a report outlining how the number of billionaires has doubled in the past decade and the world’s 22 richest men now have more wealth than all the women in Africa.

AFP

UN Warns Of More Extreme Weather Ahead After Hottest Decade On Record

 

The past decade has been the hottest on record, the UN said Wednesday, warning that the higher temperatures were expected to fuel numerous extreme weather events in 2020 and beyond.

The World Meteorological Organization, which based its findings on an analysis of leading international datasets, said increases in global temperatures had already had dire consequences, pointing to “retreating ice, record sea levels, increasing ocean heat and acidification, and extreme weather”.

WMO said its research also confirmed data released by the European Union’s climate monitor last week showing that 2019 was the second hottest year on record, after 2016.

“The year 2020 has started out where 2019 left off — with high-impact weather and climate-related events,” WMO chief Petteri Taalas said in a statement, pointing in particular to the devastating bushfires that have been raging in Australia for months.

The bushfires, unprecedented in their duration and intensity, have claimed 28 lives and highlighted the type of disasters that scientists say the world will increasingly face due to global warming.

The fires have already destroyed more than 2,000 homes and burnt 10 million hectares (100,000 square kilometres) of land — an area larger than South Korea or Portugal.

“Unfortunately, we expect to see much extreme weather throughout 2020 and the coming decades, fuelled by record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” Taalas said.

The UN agency said that average global temperatures during both the past five-year (2015-2019) and 10-year (2010-2019) periods were the highest ever recorded.

“Since the 1980s each decade has been warmer than the previous one,” the UN agency said in a statement, warning that “this trend is expected to continue”.

The United Nations said last year that man-made greenhouse gas emissions needed to tumble 7.6 percent each year to 2030 in order to limit temperature rises to 1.5 Celsius — the more ambitious cap nations signed up to in the landmark Paris climate deal.

Current pledges to cut emissions put Earth on a path of several degrees warming by the end of the century.

‘Not a Fluke’

Taalas said that since modern records began in 1850, the average global temperature had risen by around 1.1 degrees Celsius, and warned of significant warming in the future.

“On the current path of carbon dioxide emissions, we are heading towards a temperature increase of three to five degrees Celsius by the end of the century,” he warned.

Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies which provided one of the datasets, added that the trend line was unmistakable and could not be attributed to normal climate variability — a position taken by US President Donald Trump.

“What’s happening is persistent, not a fluke due to some weather phenomenon: we know that the long-term trends are being driven by the increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” he said.

Data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration meanwhile revealed that polar sea ice coverage continued its downward trend in 2019.

Both the Arctic and Antarctic oceans recorded their second-smallest average annual sea-ice coverage during the 1979–2019 period of record, the agency said.

‘Broken Record’

WMO also highlighted a new study published this week in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences with data showing that ocean heat content was at a record high in 2019.

The past five years, and past decade, were also the warmest on record in terms of ocean heat content, that study showed.

Since more than 90 percent of excess heat is stored in the world’s oceans, their heat content is a good way to quantify the rate of global warming, WMO said.

Conservationists said the UN agency’s findings were to be expected.

“It is no surprise that 2019 was the second hottest year on record — nature has been persistently reminding us that we have to pick up the pace,” said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF’s global climate and energy practice, calling for dramatic measures to halt the warming trend.

“This is not so much a record as a broken record,” added Chris Rapley, a professor of climate science at University College London.

“The message repeats with grim regularity. Yet the pace and scale of action to address climate change remains muted and far from the need.”

‘Nobody Knows The Causes Of Climate Change’ – Putin

Putin 'Ultimately' Responsible For Spy Poisoning, UK Claims
In this file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a joint press conference with his French counterpart following their talks at the Konstantin Palace in Strelna, outside Saint Petersburg, on May 24, 2018. Ludovic MARIN / AFP

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said “nobody knows” what causes climate change, appearing to cast doubt over whether global warming was of man-made origin and stating it may be due to cosmological processes.

“Nobody knows the origins of global climate change,” Putin told reporters at the start of his marathon end-of-year news conference. “We know that in the history of our Earth there have been periods of warming and cooling and it could depend on processes in the universe,” he added.

 

AFP

Technological Innovation, Energy Efficiency Key To Reducing Impacts Of Climate Change – Barkindo

Photo Credit: Official OPEC Twitter account

 

Innovations in technology, improved energy efficiency have been identified as part of the solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change globally.

This is according to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary General, Mohammad Barkindo, during the UN Climate Change Conference in Spain.

Mr Barkindo said that OPEC recognizes the complexity of climate change and there is no solution for global warming, while adding that all viable mitigation measures are necessary.

He stressed the support given to the Paris Agreement and urged that nobody should be left behind by the energy transition.

“At OPEC, we listen extensively to the scientists. We wholeheartedly support the Paris Agreement and the ethos of multilateralism that underpins it. The core elements of the Convention, particularly historical responsibility and national circumstances must be adhered to.

“We recognize the complexity and magnitude of climate change we are living in our countries. There is no panacea for global warming. All viable mitigation and adaptation measures are necessary.

“Technological innovation, including CCUS, enhanced investment for energy access, and improved energy efficiency must be part of the solution. The oil industry is committed to all of these,” he added.

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The OPEC Secretary General restated the role of oil companies in offering solutions, stating that the transition must be holistic.

“Nobody should be left behind by the energy transition. We reject an energy transition from one source to another.

“The oil industry must be part of the solution to the impacts of climate change.

“The energy transition must be holistic, inclusive, fair and equitable in accordance with the core UNFCCC principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.”

Mr Barkindo, while making reference to his early days in Yola, Adamawa State, stated the challenges faced in accessing energy, particularly fuel.

He said that the experience is what replicates globally, stating that almost one billion people worldwide lack access to electricity.

“I grew up in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria. There, even today, keeping the lights on in our houses, insulating our homes or accessing clean water  ̶  amenities taken for granted by many countries  ̶  are beyond the reach of the most vulnerable in our communities.

“Sadly, this is a situation experienced in many developing countries.

“The almost one billion people worldwide who currently lack access to electricity and the three billion without modern fuels for cooking are not just statistics on a page. They are real people. Each one is an individual.”

He stated that: “Fuel poverty is not an abstract concept; rather it is a profound challenge for sustainable development. It is an all-too brutal reality for hungry families living in the cold or dark, for the millions of children currently attending schools without power, and for many hospitals without reliable energy.”

Natural Gas Spikes CO2 Emissions In 2019, As Coal Consumption Declines

A picture taken on November 30, 2019 shows smoke and vapor rising from the cooling towers and chimneys of the lignite-fired Jaenschwalde power plant in eastern Germany. Christophe Gateau / dpa / AFP
A picture taken on November 30, 2019 shows smoke and vapor rising from the cooling towers and chimneys of the lignite-fired Jaenschwalde power plant in eastern Germany. Christophe Gateau / dpa / AFP

 

Global carbon emissions boosted by soaring natural gas use are set to hit record levels in 2019 despite a decline in coal consumption and a string of countries declaring a climate emergency, researchers said Wednesday.

In its annual analysis of fossil fuel trends, the Global Carbon Project said CO2 emissions were on course to rise 0.6 percent this year — slower than previous years but still a world away from what is needed to keep global warming in check.

In three peer-reviewed studies, authors attributed the rise to “robust growth” in natural gas and oil, which offset significant falls in coal use in the United States and Europe.

“We see clearly that global changes come from fluctuations in coal use,” said Corrine Le Quere, from the University of East Anglia, an author on the Carbon Budget report.

“In contrast the use of oil and particularly natural gas is going up unabated. Natural gas is now the biggest contributor to the growth in emissions.”

Atmospheric CO2 levels, which have been climbing exponentially in recent decades, are expected to hit an average of 410 parts per million this year, Le Quere said.

That’s the highest level in at least 800,000 years.

The report will make for further uncomfortable reading for delegates gathered at UN climate talks in Madrid, with the warnings from the world’s top climate scientists still ringing in their ears.

Last week the UN said global emissions needed to fall 7.6 percent each year, every year, to 2030 to stand any chance of limiting temperature rises to 1.5C (2.6 Farenheit).

With just 1C of warming since the industrial era so far, 2019 saw a string of deadly superstorms, drought, wildfires and flooding, made more intense by climate change.

The UN said Wednesday that the 2010s was almost certain to be the hottest decade on record and as many as 22 million people could be displaced by extreme weather this year.

‘Urgency not sunk in’

The authors pointed out 2019’s rise in emissions was slower than each of the two previous years.

Yet with energy demand showing no sign of peaking even with the rapid growth of low carbon technology such as wind and solar power, emissions in 2019 are still set to be four percent higher than in 2015, the year nations agreed to limit temperature rises in the Paris climate accord.

While emissions levels can vary annually depending on economic growth and even weather trends, the Carbon Budget report shows how far nations still need to travel to drag down carbon pollution.

“Current policies are clearly not enough to reverse trends in global emissions. The urgency of action has not sunk in yet,” said Le Quere.

She highlighted anticipated emissions falls of 1.7 percent in the US and Europe as the power sector continues its switch away from coal.

The most polluting fossil fuel saw its usage drop by as much as 10 percent in the two regions this year, the report said.

But such savings were offset globally by the likes of India and China, the biggest overall emitter, and specifically by an increase in energy from natural gas.

“Compared to coal, natural gas is a cleaner fossil fuel, but unabated natural gas use merely cooks the planet more slowly than coal,” said Glen Peters, research director at the CICERO Center for International Climate Research.

For Joeri Rogelj, lecturer in Climate Change at the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, the small slowdown in emissions growth this year “is really nothing to be overly enthusiastic about”.

Without drastic and sustained reductions, he said, “it is clear that we are not only continuing to make climate change worse, we’re doing it at a pace faster than ever before.”

 

AFP

‘We Must Stop Our War Against Nature,’ Says UN Chief On Climate

“We must stop our war against nature,” UN chief Antonio Guterres said Sunday in Madrid ahead of a key climate conference, warning against the devastating impacts of global warming.

“For many decades the human species has been at war with the planet, and now the planet is fighting back,” he said, decrying the “utterly inadequate” efforts of the world’s major economies to curb carbon pollution.

“We must stop our war against nature, and science tells us we can do it.”

Climate Change: Nigerian Govt To Plant 25 Million Trees

A file photo of Minister of Environment, Mohammad Abubakar. Photo: [email protected]

 

 

The Federal Government will soon commence the planting of 25 million trees, as part of efforts to check the menace of afforestation, desert encroachment, and erosion in the country.

The Minister of Environment, Muhammad Abubakar, announced this on Saturday called for actions to address the issue of climate change in the development of states across the nation.

He made the announcement at the 13th session of the National Council on Environment Kaduna State, attended by experts and various stakeholders in the sector.

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On his part, the Senate Committee Deputy Chairman on Environment, Hassan Hadeja, called on the states and Federal Government to make more investment in solar energy.

The lawmaker believes this will go a long way in reducing pollution of the environment.

Over the years, climate change has become a threat to global security going by the effects of flooding, earthquake, and fire outbreaks among others.

As part of this trend, the alarming rate of desertification in In Nigeria’s northern region has forced thousands of herders to move to the middle-belt and South, leading to incessant clashes with farmers in the regions.

The Guinea Savannah region is not spared either as logging and over-dependence on firewood for cooking have stripped a greater part of the area of its vegetation cover.

The situation is not different in the south-south region where the forest has reduced to grassland while erosion has continued to devastate many communities in Nigeria’s south-east zone.

The National Council on Environment is Nigeria’s highest policy-making body in the environment sector.

It facilitates inter-governmental deliberations and guides consultation on environment issues at all levels of the government.

Saturday’s event focused on safeguarding the environment through advocacy as experts and policymakers brainstormed and made suggestions on how to checkmate the challenges of climate change.

The meeting has the theme ‘Promoting Environmental Advocacy, A Panacea for Achieving the Next Level Agenda.”

According to stakeholders present, including the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Hadiza Balarabe, and the Guest Speaker, Professor Mohammed Ibrahim, positive engagements among critical stakeholders will ensure effective implementation of policies and laws that will help in tackling environmental challenges in the country.