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UN: Progress on Emission Reduction Too Slow #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani #ClimateChange

Global Economy Improving, but Progress on Emission Reductions too Slow – UN | UNFCCC

UN Climate Change News, 18 May 2018 – A new UN report shows that whilst short-term prospects for the world economy are improving, with the world gross product expected to expand by 3.2 per cent in both 2018 and 2019, a lot more needs to be done to avert a major economic downturn linked to unchecked climate change.

The study by the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs points towards a 1.4 percent increase of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2017 due to a combination of accelerated economic growth, relatively cheap fossil fuels and weak energy efficiency efforts.

“While recent evidence points to progress in decoupling emissions growth from GDP growth in some developed economies, it is still manifestly insufficient. The rate of global energy efficiency gains has been slowing since 2015, reaching 1.7 percent in 2017—half the rate required to remain on track with the Paris Agreement”, say the authors of the report ‘World Economic Situation and Prospects as of mid-2018.’

Improving energy efficiency and a radical shift to low carbon for the world’s markets is integral to meeting the objectives set forth by the Paris Agreement, which aims to respond to climate change by keeping a global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees C.

The authors of the report say that several steps can be taken to notably align the rate of energy efficiency gains with the goals of the Paris Agreement. These include the reform of fossil fuel subsidies and taxes, deploying renewable energy technology, and decreasing the cost of renewable energy generation.

Warnings of Climate Impacts Setting In

Man-made greenhouse gas emissions account for 2016 and 2017 being the two hottest years on record.

Evidence from the report states that a rising global average temperature could translate into a slower growth of per capita output in countries with a high average temperature, most of which are low-income countries.

The sectors of agricultural production, labor productivity, weather dependent industry, capital accumulation and human health are most at risk for disruption from an unpredictable climate.

Warmer climates create shifting rainfall patterns, rising sea levels, and an increased frequency of extreme weather events. Respectively, these events can move the locations of farmlands, endanger Small Island Developing States, and threaten large population centers.

Policy Reform Crucial to Meeting Paris Agreement Goals

The report says that a reform of fossil fuel policy could increase the rate of energy efficiency gains.

Additionally, the use of new technologies such as wind, solar, electric vehicles and battery storage is critical.

In 2017, renewables accounted for 61 percent of all newly installed net power capacity in 2017 with solar alone encompassing 38 percent.

Falling costs for solar and wind power supported the economic viability for several renewable energy projects.

But even with the newly-installed capacity, renewable energy today only accounts for 19 percent of power capacity and 12.1 percent of power generation around the globe.

At the current rate of change, the pace of power transition would take approximately 55 years for the share of renewables to reach 50 percent of earth’s total energy capacity – too late to ensure the Paris Agreement’s goals can be met.

Read the full report here

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Climate change author still hopeful for future of planet #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

Climate change author still hopeful for future of planet

By JEFF DEZORT Newton County Times May 17, 2018

Jeff Dezort/Staff

Acting Buffalo National River Superintendent Laura Miller (left) and Jack Stewart of Jasper were on hand when Dr. Terry L. Root, PhD, professor emerita at Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment, recently spoke to a group in Harrison about climate change.

A renown scientist studying effects of climate change says she still has hope that many species of birds and other animals will escape extinction brought on by rising world-wide temperatures.

Terry L. Root, PhD, professor emerita of Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment, was a lead author of assessment reports in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which earned her a share of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with Vice President Al Gore.

The Earth is a fragile planet.

We have to take care of it, but time is running short.

That was Root’s message to a group of people including National Park Service personnel attending an hour-long presentation last week at the Buffalo National River Headquarters in Harrison.

Root is acquainted with Jack Stewart of Jasper, a conservationist who has worked with her on the National Audubon Society’s Board of Directors. Stewart is also a member of the Buffalo National River Partners and made arrangements for Root’s visit.

Temperature studies spanning from the 1800s to the present were used by Root to plot global surface temperature changes well into the future. Temperatures will gradually be nudged higher and higher due to greater concentrations of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere causing the greenhouse effect, her studies show.

In 1975, data strongly indicated that one species is causing climate change. Humans are affecting the temperature of the oceans and the atmosphere, she said.

The overall size of the oceans and atmosphere are very small, she showed in one of the graphics.

There are four different “story lines” for global warming in the future. The first proposes what would happen if there are no changes — it’s business as usual. Atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations will increase from 400 to more than 1,200 parts per million.

Two other story lines show the effects of influences brought on with some types of international cooperation to limit these emissions. Concentrations would increase but only to 400 to 700 parts per million. The fourth scenario shows what would happen if greenhouse gas emissions were suddenly ended. Concentrations would drop, so you would think.

But carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere a long time. Root said 25 percent of the carbon dioxide released today will still be in the atmosphere 50 years from now. And 25 percent of that carbon dioxide will still be in the atmosphere 100 years from now. So even without adding more carbon dioxide its concentration will not disappear entirely.

“What we are doing today is affecting our great-great-great-great-grandchildren. That just really bothers me,” Root said.

Technological advances won’t help. At least not short term. The only things today that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere are trees, she said.

Press link for more: Harrison Daily

My daughter is right: our generation is wrecking the world for hers | #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

My daughter is right: our generation is wrecking the world for hers | Paul Daley

Paul DaleyThu 17 May 2018 12.22 AEST

Those of us gen X-ers in our early to mid-50s inhabit a world that is vastly more dangerous and uncertain than the one we were bequeathed.’ Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP

The car is where I’ve discovered most about my parenting.

There was that time when I, a very young father, oh-so-briefly and absentmindedly left Number One Daughter in her baby capsule on the roof of the clapped-out Morris.

It all turned out fine.

So much so that she is now about to have her own child.

And there was the time when Number One Son, aged about two, bellowed from the back of the car, “Ahh fuck – you idiot!” I’d just slammed on the brakes, inspiring him to speak with perfect intonation in precise mimicry of … words I may have previously uttered from behind the wheel in a similar situation.

Which brings me to something Number Two Daughter, a nearly-teen, said in the car a few months ago.

“Mum and Dad – I don’t want you to be upset at this or anything,” she began.

She had our attention. “Yes?” came our chorus.

She continued, “OK and when I talk about you in what I’m about to say I don’t actually mean you personally – I mean your generation. OK?”

“Yes … ”

“Well, you’re wrecking the world for my generation.

The world is more unsafe than when you were kids, more and more species are going extinct, there are more refugees and the world is meaner to them, there are more wars, there’s more terrorism and more racism and you haven’t stopped climate change. No offence – but it’s true.

You’re ruining the world.”

For good measure she also threw in something about being priced out of the housing market.

It’s impossible to overstate quite how devastating this was.

Devastating – because it’s mostly true.

Those of us gen Xers in our early to mid-50s inhabit a world that is vastly more dangerous and uncertain than the one we were bequeathed.

Us gen X men were the first generation since federation not to be forced or urged to go to war.

We all had free tertiary education, stable government, a strong national and global economy, reasonable job prospects and security and, despite ridiculous interest rates in the mid-1980s, every prospect of owning our own homes.

In the 1980s our chief global concern was nuclear Armageddon at the tail end of the cold war. Today the daily threat might be China, Iran or North Korea, with the constant, of course, given the bellicosity and unpredictability of Trump, always America. Many Australian conservatives let slip much about their fears of a Trump White House as the beast roared on its way up – his hatred of women and minorities, his temperamental unsuitability, in short all of the things our children so easily identified and empathetically condemned as they would the schoolyard bully. My daughter and her friends talk of Trump constantly as a present and future threat to their world.

Meanwhile, toxic nationalism, in Australia and elsewhere, is more potent than it has been since the world wars, manifesting here in even greater oppression and marginalisation of Indigenous people, and the political vilification of asylum seekers and their banishment to earthy hell. The militarisation of Australian history and culture continues apace at the expense of gentler, more thoughtful forms of patriotism.

Terrorism was frightening for us, though largely in the abstract – a thing that mostly happened elsewhere, and quite rarely, rather than the global and domestic threat it is for our kids. It did not cross our minds when we boarded a plane, attended a big public event – or walked through a mall in the city.

The early science was there for us on climate change and ozone depletion. Governments needed little convincing of their reality and had begun to act. The change was not deliberately contorted, like today, as a matter of belief (despite the science) that divides politics, media and society – and delivers a status quo of stalemate between enlightenment and darkness that bequeaths to our young bleaching reefs, vanishing species and rising sea levels.

Some parents go to great lengths to shield their children from the worst realities of the world – war, famine, the threat of global warming, toxic racism, terrorism. We’d never tried – or wanted – to do that. The days have always began and ended in our homes with radio news and current affairs. There have always (until recently) been daily newspapers, and family conversation has inevitably included a fair amount of domestic and geopolitics. We wanted to raise informed, socially and politically engaged, and caring, young people.

We have tried, as parents and as people engaged with the world, who want to make it and this country better, to argue our causes. Some days there are wins. Others, it feels like progress is stuck in a morass beyond our control, at the whim of those at the very top of the power tree.

I inherited a better world, indeed, a better Australia, than my mother and father. But were I gone tomorrow, I doubt my kids would say the same about their parents.

But I’m not done yet – and I heard everything Number Two Daughter said in the car that day. The one thing I did not hear was any hint of fear. She sounded defiant and courageous. But never afraid. Perhaps that’s one of the things we did get right.

• Paul Daley is a Guardian Australia columnist

Press link for more: The Guardian

#ClimateChange ‘Global existential risk” Senate Report #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

Extract from Senate Report released today.

Press link for more: APH.GOV.AU

2.3 American climate security expert Ms Sherri Goodman described climate change as a ‘direct threat to the national security of Australia’, and a ‘global existential risk’.

Other submissions also recognised climate change as an existential risk, defined as ‘one that threatens the premature extinction of Earth-originating intelligent life or the permanent and drastic destruction of its potential for desirable future development’.

Mr Mark Crosweller, Director General of Emergency Management Australia (EMA), also referred to the ‘existential nature’ of climate change risks.

Climate change viewed as a current threat

2.4 The 2015 United States Department of Defense (US DoD) report mentioned in the terms of reference characterised ‘climate change as a present security threat, not strictly a long-term risk’.

Illustrating this immediacy, Ms Goodman described recent climate-related events:

…we know now that the hurricane train that has come through the United States this fall and the wildfires that we are experiencing are, in part, due to additional climate risks. And we know that the storms that you’ve been experiencing in your part of the world [Australia] now are also attributable, in part, to accelerated climate risks.

The problem also is not a distant one in the future but it’s now.

We are experiencing this in regular sunny-day flooding at military bases in the United States and in changes in the Arctic, forcing the first wave of displaced persons from villages in the Arctic.12

2.5 The Climate Council further stated the effects of climate change ‘are already contributing to increases in the forced migration of people within and between nations, as well as playing a role in heightening social and political tensions, flowing onto conflict and violence’.

2.6 A recent Australian Government report highlighted how Australia is ‘already experiencing the impacts of a changing climate, particularly changes associated with increases in temperature, the frequency and intensity of extreme heat events, extreme fire weather, and drought’.

For example, it noted ‘communities in the Torres Strait

Senate Report identifies #ClimateChange as a national security risk! #auspol #StopAdani demand #ClimateAction

Chapter 2

Climate change-related threats to national security

2.1 This chapter summarises evidence received by the committee on the threats to Australia’s national security posed by climate change.

It begins by outlining the recognition of climate change as a current and existential national security risk.

The chapter then outlines how climate change is affecting the Australian community and economy.

It covers how climate change is influencing regional instability, population movement and demands for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR).

Finally, the chapter notes climate change contributes to issues for Defence, including affecting personnel health and the sustainability of estate and assets.

Climate change identified as a national security risk

2.2 Leading international security organisations and defence forces have identified climate change as a significant security threat for at least the last decade.

For example, the United Nations (UN) Security Council first debated climate security in 2007.

The topic was also discussed during Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Estimates hearings in the same year.

The prominence of climate security policy grew in the United States (US) from the early 2000s, though ‘it was not until the Obama Administration that climate security came into its own’.

Since then, climate security has been a focus of many high-level national planning documents, including the 2015 National Security Strategy, which identified climate change as an ‘urgent and growing threat’ to national security.

The 2017 National Security Strategy did not focus on climate security; however it was identified as a national security threat in recent US Defense appropriation legislation.

An American report found approximately 70 per cent of nations have explicitly stated that climate change is a national security concern.

Press link for more APH.GOV.AU

Senate report recognises climate change as existential risk! #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

Senate report recognises climate change as existential risk, but fails to draw the obvious conclusions.

by David Spratt

Download the Breakthrough report

on climate and security risks

Climate change is “a current and existential national security risk”, according to an Australian Senate report released on Thursday 17 May. It says an existential risk is “one that threatens the premature extinction of Earth-originating intelligent life or the permanent and drastic destruction of its potential for desirable future development”. These are strong words.

The report by the Senate’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee follows an Inquiry into the Implications of Climate Change for Australia’s National Security. Whilst many of the findings accord with the growing international recognition of climate change as a “threat multiplier” or an “accelerant to instability”, the inquiry’s recommendations lack a sense of urgency, especially since the “current existential risk” is being triggered today by the Australian Government’s insistence on  expanding the use of fossil fuels.

On the positive side, the report:

• Accepts the view of leading US expert, Sherri Goodman, whose visit to Australia in April 2017 was a catalyst for the inquiry, of retired defence chief Admiral Chris Barrie, and others, that climate change is “a threat multiplier… exacerbating existing threats to human security, including geopolitical, socio-economic, water, energy, food and health challenges that diminish resilience and increase the likelihood of conflict”.

• Recognises that Australia and its neighbours are in the region most exposed to climate impacts, especially the Pacific Island countries and territories  As a consequence, Australia has a growing responsibility for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

• Recognises that climate change is threatening the health of Australian, their communities, businesses and the economy; heightening the severity of natural hazards; increasinging the spread of infectious diseases; and creating growing water insecurity threats to agriculture.

• Catalogues the challenges Australia’s defence forces will face, from rising sea levels to more hostile conditions for training and combat, and demands for more domestic as well as overseas emergency relief.

• Notes the failure so far to adopt a fully-integrated, whole-of-government approach to climate-security risks.

• Draws attention to the inadequacy of Australia’s emissions-reduction commitments, noting  Ms Goodman’s evidence that: “Whilst the Paris climate accord’s goal are ‘keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels [and] to aim to limit the increase to 1.5°C’, the present commitment by governments will result in warming of 3°C or more. Such an outcome would have national security consequences so severe that some nations would cease to exist and the viability of many others would be severely challenged.”

But there is a complete disconnect between the report’s findings and its recommendations. The main recommendations are procedural: the needs for a climate security white paper (which would at least keep the government’s eye on the subject); the development of a national climate, health and well-being plan; the release of Defence assessments of the climate risks to its facilities; the bureaucratic elevation of the issue by the creation of a dedicated climate security leadership position in the Home Affairs Portfolio and a dedicated senior leadership position in the Department of Defence.

It also recommends that national security agencies increase their climate security knowledge and capability, an oblique recognition that these agencies are embarrassingly deficient in climate and security analytical capacity, in part due to their kowtowing to the government’s demotion of climate issues.

There is a recommendation for additional money and foreign aid to “provide further funding for international climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction measures, in addition to the existing aid budget, to the extent that financial circumstances allow”. This stands in stark contrast to repeated cuts to Australia’s foreign aid, including in last week’s budget, and to the reduction in climate action overall.

The inquiry is right to recognise climate change as an existential risk. In this sense, it is ahead of the large climate advocacy organisations, the national security agencies and the Australia academic community, who are laggards in articulating such risks. Indeed, it was Mark Crosweller, the Director General of Emergency Management Australia, Sherri Goodman the expert witness from the US, and the former senior Shell executive and emissions trading advisor to the Howard government, Ian Dunlop, who put the issue of existential climate security risks on the inquiry’s agenda.

At present, the 2015 Paris Agreement commitments by various nations, if implemented, would result in planetary warming of more than 3°C by 2100, and when carbon-cycle feedbacks which are now becoming active are taken into account, the resultant warming is around 5°C of warming. Scientists say warming of 4°C or more could reduce the global human population by 80% or 90% and the World Bank reports “there is no certainty that adaptation to a 4°C world is possible”.

A 2007 study by two US national security think tanks, “The Age of Consequences” concluded that even 3°C of warming and a 0.5 metre sea-level rise would likely lead internationally and within nations to “outright chaos”, and “nuclear war is possible”, emphasising how “massive nonlinear events in the global environment give rise to massive nonlinear societal events”.

The senate inquiry should have followed through on the consequences of such risks. Existential risks require a particular approach to risk management. They are not amenable to the reactive (learn from failure) approach of conventional risk management, and we cannot necessarily rely on the institutions, moral norms, or social attitudes developed from our experience with managing other sorts of risks. Because the consequences are so severe, even for an honest, truth-seeking, and well-intentioned investigator it is difficult to think and act rationally in regard to existential risks.

The Senate inquiry has fallen victim to this problem, as has happened so often with Australian climate and energy policy. But time has now run out.

Existential risk management requires brutally honest articulation of the risks, opportunities and the response time frame. At the moment we are knowingly locking in an existential disaster without being prepared to articulate that fact, which is a breach of the Senator’s fiduciary responsibility to the Australian community.  At least this Senate inquiry report is significant for having broken the ice, but it should be so much more.

Press link for more: Climate Code Red

Pediatricians are concerned about climate change, and here’s why #auspol #StopAdani

CNN) — Doctors have long raised alarm about the potential health risks of climate change, but it turns out that children are particularly vulnerable.

Children are estimated to bear 88% of the burden of disease related to climate change, according to a paper published Tuesday in the journal Pediatrics.

The new paper highlights some studies on the implications of climate change for children’s health and then calls for the world to better prepare for these health risks, not just in the future but in the present.

“We already have seen the impacts,” said Dr. Kevin Chan, chairman of pediatrics at Memorial University and head of child health at Eastern Health in Canada, who co-authored the paper.

Chan pointed to Hurricanes Katrina, Harvey and Irma as examples of climate change-related weather events that have affected children’s health, along with extreme heat waves and emerging infectious pathogens such as the Zika virus.

During pregnancy, Zika infection can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, a condition in which a baby’s head is smaller than expected and the brain has not developed properly. There is no treatment for microcephaly that can return a child’s head to a healthy size or shape.

Alerts of an outbreak of Zika, spread mostly by mosquitoes, emerged in 2015 and continued through 2016. Some studies suggest that increased climate instability has contributed to the emergence and spread of mosquito-borne infections like Zika.

“Absolutely, that was one that disproportionately affected children,” Chan said of Zika.

“The basic message is that climate change is occurring, and I think it disproportionately affects the most vulnerable populations, and that includes children,” he said.

In the new paper, Chan and co-author Dr. Rebecca Pass Philipsborn, a member of the pediatrics faculty at the Emory University School of Medicine, cited a separate study that found that deaths due to diarrhea, malaria and nutritional deficiencies among children younger than 5 accounted for 38%, 65% and 48% of all global deaths, respectively, in 2015.

That study was published in The Lancet in 2016. The new study reports that those causes of death can be climate-sensitive.

For instance, certain changes in climate can make it more suitable for the transmission of malaria, a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes.

Similarly, climbing temperatures have been tied to an increased incidence of waterborne bacterial infections that cause diarrhea. When compared with a future without climate change, an estimated 48,000 additional deaths due to diarrheal illness are projected among children younger than 15 by 2030, according to the World Health Organization.

As for nutritional deficiencies, about 95,000 additional deaths due to childhood undernutrition are projected for 2030, according to the WHO. Extremely high seasonal temperatures and extreme weather events could damage crops, impacting the food supply and thus childhood nutrition.

In their paper, Chan and Philipsborn also referenced studies on children’s vulnerability to extreme heat, droughts and air pollution.

A separate report, published last year by the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, mapped how those climate change-related events and others threaten the health of people across the United States — and those threats can vary by region.

Dr. Mona Sarfaty, executive director of the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health and director of the program on climate and health at George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication, said the the sources for the new Pediatrics paper are credible and well-known to experts on climate change and health.

“The danger to children is real and is already witnessed by physicians in the US,” said Sarfaty, who was not involved in the paper.

“Children suffer more heat impacts because they spend more time outside. They are more vulnerable to the heat-related increases in air pollution that come from fossil fuel exhaust, because their lungs are still developing. Outdoor play also makes them more prey to insect vectors carrying dangerous infections,” she said. “The doctors in our societies are seeing these problems today, and they will undoubtedly get worse if we don’t decisively address climate change.”

Though the new paper highlights the current body of research on climate change and children’s health, Chan said that more research could help physicians better understand and prepare for the health impacts of climate change.

“Specifically, what we wanted to highlight was, there’s very little research and evidence around children,” Chan said.

“A lot of the research is very, very broad and tends to look more at adult populations. I don’t think they factor in the specific impacts on children themselves, and I think more research is needed in that arena,” he said. “We really need more efforts into addressing climate change to protect our children.”

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In 2015, the American Academy of Pediatrics published an updated policy statement on global climate change and children’s health, calling for health facilities to reduce their carbon and environmental footprints and for politicians to promote energy efficiency, among other recommendations.

“Climate change is a rising public health threat to all children in this country and around the world,” former academy President Dr. Sandra G. Hassink said in a news release at the time.

“Pediatricians have a unique and powerful voice in this conversation due to their knowledge of child health and disease and their role in ensuring the health of current and future children,” she said.

Press link for more: CNN.COM

World sees rapid upsurge in extreme weather #auspol #qldpol #ClimateChange #StopAdani

World sees rapid upsurge in extreme weather

By MARLOWE HOOD | AFP

PARIS: A world addled by climate change has seen a four-fold increase in major flooding events since 1980, and a doubling of significant storms, droughts and heat waves, Europe’s national science academies jointly reported Wednesday.

Severe flash flood hits Ankara, described as disaster like never before, Turkey

In Europe, where precise data reaches back decades, the number of severe floods has jumped five fold since 1995, according to the report, which updates a 2013 assessment.

“There has been, and continues to be, a significant increase in the frequency of extreme weather events,” said Michael Norton, environmental program director for the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council.

“They underline the importance of avoiding greenhouse gases, which are fundamentally responsible for driving these changes,” he told AFP.

For impacts that cannot be avoided, he added, “this makes climate proofing all the more urgent.”

In the United States, the damage wrought by storms doubled, on average, from $10 billion in 1980 to $20 billion in 2015, adjusted for inflation, according to the report, based in part on data from insurance giant Munich Re’s NatCatSERVICE.

The update also assessed new findings on possible changes in the Gulf Stream, powerful ocean currents running between the Arctic region and the Caribbean that warm the air in northwestern Europe and the US eastern seaboard.

The weakening of the Gulf Stream “is now a credible hypothesis,” said Norton.

“Some of the underlying drivers of extreme weather which were speculative four years ago are looking less speculative.”

The prospect of the Gulf Stream — also known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) — slowing, or even shutting down entirely, “must be taken as a serious possibility,” he added.

Scientists have estimated that winters in Britain and much of western Europe would be several degrees Celsius colder under such a scenario.

The study also examined recent disruptions of the polar Jet Stream, a band of west-to-east winds that circulate at bullet-train speed some 10 kilometers above Earth’s surface at the upper boundary of the troposphere.

Recent research has linked severe winters in North America and Europe, as well some extreme summer weather, to Jet Stream fluctuations possibly driven by global warming in the Arctic, where temperatures have risen twice as fast as for the planet as a whole.

A 2016 study in Climatic Change forecast that, by mid-century, pockets of southern Europe will face at least one severe climate hazard every year of the scale now occurring only once every 100 years.

By 2100, according to these predictions, Europe’s entire Mediterranean seaboard will be confronted annually with extreme droughts, coastal floods or heatwaves.

And a few “hotspots” will be hit every year by two or more such formerly once-in-hundred-years hazards, which also include wildfires, river floods and windstorms.

Press link for more: Arab News

#ClimateChange is the single biggest threat to life & prosperity.

by Patricia Espinosa, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary

Our planet is warming .

An astonishing 17 of the 18 warmest years on record have occurred in the twenty-first century .

The past three years were the hottest since records began .

With this warming comes climate change, causing extreme storms, droughts and floods .

We witnessed these climate disasters many times in 2017 and were shocked .

Yet, these are only the most dramatic and visible impacts .

Other upheavals range from reduced crop productivity to forced migration .

Climate change is the single biggest threat to life, security and prosperity on Earth .

Governments at all levels, civil society, the private sector and individuals are acting to limit global temperatures to agreed levels and to help vulnerable communities adapt to the effects of climate change we cannot avoid .

UNClimate Change’s mandated is to lead and support the global community in this international response, with the Paris Agreement and the Convention being the long-term vehicles for united global climate action .

For UN Climate Change, much of 2017 was about the hard work of ironing out the details of the new climate regime .

This is a laborious process .

Without it, however, the Paris Agreement will have no impact .

COP 23, presided over by Fiji, demonstrated that there is an unstoppable climate movement supported by all sectors of society across the globe .

Almost 30,000 people took part: Heads of State, ministers, delegates from Parties, private sector and civil society leaders, representatives of international organizations, youth groups and indigenous peoples, and many more .

During the conference, financial commitments amounting to almost USD 1 billion to tackle climate change were made.

Building on the negotiations over the years, we saw key decisions made by governments, many of which broke new ground .

The Talanoa Dialogue, which will inform and inspire parties as they review their commitments and revise them upwards .

The first- ever Gender Action Plan, which will increase the participation of women in climate change responses .

The first-ever agreement on agriculture and climate, which will address both vulnerabilities and emissions in this key sector .

The first-ever platform for indigenous peoples and local communities, who can now share their valuable perspectives on climate change .

These decisions to bring in new voices, partners and action areas are vital if we are to succeed in meet the challenges of climate change .

This is why UN Climate Change in 2017 focused increasingly on cooperation and coherent action on climate, sustainable development and disaster risk reduction, both within the United Nations system and with external partners .

We also saw advances in climate finance . The Adaptation Fund broke its single-year resource mobilization record, raising USD 95 .5 million .

UN Climate Change continued to deliver on its core tasks: supporting negotiations, including laying the groundwork for the Paris Agreement work programme, monitoring and analysing commitments to build transparency and trust, increase the capacity of developing countries to adapt to climate change and providing science to help Parties shape their actions on climate change .

There is much to do in 2018 .

We need to support Parties to increase pre-2020 action .

Those Parties that have not yet done so should ratify the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol .

Parties should use the Talanoa Dialogue as an opportunity to engage with one another and increase ambition under the Paris Agreement .

In 2018, it is critical that the outcomes of the Paris Agreement work programme are adopted at COP 24 in Katowice to ensure we are ready for the implementation of the Agreement .

At the same time, we must further align planning and action on climate change with the United Nations.

Press link for full report: UNFCCC

#ClimateChange is the defining challenge of our time. #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani Demand #ClimateAction

by António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General

Climate change is the defining challenge of our time, yet it is still accelerating faster than our efforts to address it .

Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide are higher than they have been for 800,000 years, and they are increasing .

So, too, are the catastrophic effects of our warming planet – extreme storms, droughts, fires, floods, melting ice and rising sea levels .

In 2015, the world’s nations recognized the urgency and magnitude of the challenge when they adopted the historic Paris Agreement on climate change with a goal of limiting global average temperature rise to well below 2 °C while aiming for a safe 1 .5 °C target .

The unity forged in Paris was laudable – and overdue .

But, for all its significance, Paris was a beginning, not an end .

The world is currently not on track to achieve the Paris targets .

We need urgent climate action and greatly increased ambition – in emissions reductions and in promoting adaptation to currentandfutureimpactsofclimate change .

Success demands broad-based concerted action from all levels of society, public and private, action coalitions across all sectors and the engagement of all key actors .

There is no time, nor reason, to delay .

The dogma that pollution and high emissions are the unavoidable cost of progress is dead .

Investing in climate action makes sense for the global environment, improved public health, new markets, new jobs and new opportunities for sustainable prosperity .

Failing to act will simply consign all of humanity to ever- worsening climate calamity .

That is why I urge Parties to vigorously implement the Paris Agreement and to increase their ambition commensurate with the demands of science .

The United Nations – led by UN Climate Change – will provide support every step of the way .

There is no alternative to decisive, immediate climate action if we are to safeguard the future of this and future generations .

Press link for full report: UNFCCC.INT