– COP27 begins with ‘Climate chaos’ warning
ADDIS ABABA – Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed has today joined over 120 world’s leaders in Egypt for the largest annual gathering on climate action.
The PM and his delegation arrived at the summit known as COP27, in Sharm el-Sheikh, which kicks off two weeks of negotiations between countries on climate action.
The summit opened today with a warning that our planet is “sending a distress signal”.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was responding to a World Meteorological Organization or WMO’s report released on Sunday.
“Chronicle of climate chaos”
In a video message to the conference in which he called the State of the Global Climate Report 2022 a “chronicle of climate chaos”.
The report says the past eight years were on track to be the warmest on record, fuelled by ever-rising greenhouse gas concentrations and accumulated heat.
Extreme heatwaves, drought and devastating flooding have affected millions and cost billions this year alone.
The rate of sea level, doubled since 1993.has risen by nearly 10 mm since January 2020 to a new record high this year, the report states.
WMO’s scientists estimate that global temperatures have now risen by 1.15C since the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average.
A rare triple-dip cooling La Niña means that 2022 is likely to “only” be fifth or sixth warmest.
However, this does not reverse the long-term trend; it is only a matter of time until there is another warmest year on record, WMO’s report says.
“Least responsible for CC suffer most’
“The greater the warming, the worse the impacts. We have such high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now that the lower 1.5°C of the Paris Agreement is barely within reach,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof Petteri Taalas.
“All too often, those least responsible for climate change suffer most – as we have seen with the terrible flooding in Pakistan and deadly, long-running drought in the Horn of Africa,” Prof Taalas noted.
“But even well-prepared societies this year have been ravaged by extremes – as seen by the protracted heatwaves and drought in large parts of Europe and southern China.”
COP27 ‘an opportunity to act’
Prof Taalas said increasingly extreme weather makes it “more important than ever to ensure that everyone on Earth has access to life-saving early warnings.”
The report was brought out ahead of COP27, raising awareness of the huge scale of the problems that world leaders must tackle, if they are to have any hope of getting the climate crisis under control.
The UN says the annual conference presents an opportunity for countries to “deliver action on an array of issues critical” to tackling the climate emergency.
The expected actions to come out of the Summit range from urgently reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building resilience and adapting to the inevitable impacts of climate change, to delivering on the commitments to finance climate action in developing countries.
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