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ASEAN calls on first world countries to fulfill commitment on climate change adaptation

by UNTV NEWS   |   Posted on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his opening remarks during the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit plenary at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on November 13, 2017, declares that the plenary session will be the avenue for them to continue their discussions on how to further consolidate their efforts and shared aspirations toward an ASEAN Community that is rules-based, people-oriented, and people-centered. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reiterated the role of first world countries in mitigating the impact of climate change and how countries severely affected by the global phenomena can adapt to its effects.

During the 31st ASEAN Summit, the regional bloc issued a joint statement calling upon developed countries to “honor and fulfill their existing mitigation commitments.”

Geri-Geronimo Sanchez, the chief of the Hazardous Waste Management section of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said part of the joint statement will be read in the ongoing 23rd session of the conference of parties in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany.

The commitment includes financial support amounting to US $100 billion annually under the convention.

In a joint statement, ASEAN member-states said climate change policies must strengthen the ASEAN rapid response capacity on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction under the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response.

The regional bloc also urged developed countries to provide means of implementation in order to enhance sustainable management as well as conservation of biodiversity, ecosystem and landscapes.

It also calls on the parties to enhance support for the ongoing efforts on promoting low carbon and climate resilient ASEAN cities. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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Climate disasters cause global economic losses to soar, UN says

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, October 11th, 2018


Dried out crops after three years of drought linked to El Niño in San Agustin Acasaguastlan, El Progreso Department, Guatemala | REUTERS

From 1998 to 2017 direct economic losses from natural disasters totaled $2.9 trillion, of which 77 percent was due to extreme weather that is intensifying as the world warms, the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) said on Wednesday (October 10).

That compares with overall losses of $1.3 trillion from 1978 to 1997, 68 percent of that accounted for by climate and weather hazards, including storms, floods, and droughts.

On Monday, climate scientists warned that if global average temperatures rise more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times, it would lead to more suffering  especially among the world’s poorest.

Climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather, and disasters will continue to set back sustainable development, the UNISDR report warned.

In the past two decades, 1.3 million people were killed and 4.4 billion were injured, left homeless, displaced or required emergency help.

Although rich countries shoulder the highest absolute economic losses, the report noted the disproportionate impact of disasters on low and middle-income countries with people in poorer nations seven times more likely to be killed by a disaster than in wealthier ones. — Reuters

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Germany must do more to stop climate change, experts say

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, October 9th, 2018


Dried out crops in Germany | REUTERS

Keeping the Earth’s temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius means making rapid, unprecedented changes in the way people use energy to eat, travel and live or we risk even more extreme weather and loss of species, a U.N. report said on Monday (October 8).

Meeting 1.5C (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, rather than the 2C target agreed at global climate talks in Paris in 2015, would have “clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems,” the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said.

After years of leadership on climate change, Germany risks being left behind as German experts urged Berlin to use its political clout to encourage society to join together to reach climate saving goals.

The IPCC announcements come as climate issues have been dominating the headlines in Germany. An unusually hot summer caused damage to crops, forest fires and a massive reduction in water levels across the country.

Tens of thousands of Germans demonstrated on Saturday (October 6) in support of saving the ancient Hambach Forest which German power company RWE wants to clear for mining.

The utility giant, one of Europe’s largest carbon dioxide emitters, has drawn heavy criticism from environmentalists over the planned clearing of the Hambach forest that it bought decades ago to expand mining in the area, in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The past 18 years have been globally the warmest on record since the 1850s when measurements began, the IPCC said. Scientists attribute the temperature rises and extreme weather mainly to greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide from fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas. — Reuters

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Manhattan-sized glacier breaks off into Greenland seas

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2018


Calving of Helheim glacier| Screengrab from Reuters video

A portion of the Helheim Glacier in Greenland broke off, creating multiple icebergs in footage taken by Reuters in June of 2018.

The process of forming icebergs from glaciers is called “calving”, an event that can be caused by warming oceans. The size of the ice that separated from the main glacier was approximately the size of lower Manhattan, according to David Holland, a New York University oceanographer who witnessed the event and has studied Greenland’s glaciers for 12 years.

The mission was part of NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) project, a five-year, $30 million effort aimed at improving sea-level rise projections by understanding how warming oceans are melting ice sheets from below – the most ambitious research on the subject to date.

Rising seas threaten low-lying cities, islands, and industries worldwide. But projections for how high and how soon the rise will come vary wildly, in part because scientists lack clarity on how fast warming oceans are melting polar ice sheets. The uncertainty confounds the preparations of governments and businesses and fuels the arguments of climate-change skeptics.

Scientists worry that calving will happen on a disastrous scale in Antarctica, where the much larger Thwaites glacier, for instance, is believed to be a linchpin holding back the West Antarctic ice sheet. — Reuters


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