Environment

UN: Climate refugees and avoidable human tragedy on tap unless we go beyond Paris Agreement

UN: Climate refugees and avoid...
Greenhouse gas emissions are on track to far exceed safe levels by 2030
Greenhouse gas emissions are on track to far exceed safe levels by 2030
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Greenhouse gas emissions are on track to far exceed safe levels by 2030
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Greenhouse gas emissions are on track to far exceed safe levels by 2030

The Paris Agreement on climate action was a landmark moment in a few ways. A record number of countries pledged to keep global temperatures from rising 2° C (3.6° F) above pre-industrial levels this century, to prepare for the impacts of climate change and to help developing nations build clean energy futures. But just as the agreement enters into force today, the UN has declared the need to go above and beyond the commitments made in Paris, with the projected carbon emissions for the year 2030 leaving us little chance of keeping warming to safe levels.

The 2° C threshold was settled upon because scientists believe that it will minimize the risk of more intense storms, flooding, sea-level rise, decimated agriculture and the loss of ecosystems, among other catastrophes. The Paris Agreement also implored governments to aim for a safer level of 1.5° C, which would reduce the danger even further. A total of 195 countries have signed onto the Paris Agreement, with 85 of those ratifying it so far. This is promising progress, but the UN's annual Emissions Report released yesterday suggests we still need to move a lot faster.

To have a chance of keeping warming below 2° C, global greenhouse gas emissions in the year 2030 need to be kept to 42 gigatons, according to current projections. The report reveals that we are currently on track for 54 to 56 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2030, which will bring about temperature rises of 2.9 to 3.4° C (5.22° F to 6.12° F) by the end of the century.

Here's a few examples of what the conservative end of that estimate could mean, according to the World Research Institute and based on data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Compared to the 1980s, the 2080s will see 26 percent more people face reduced groundwater resources and six times as many people experience 100-year floods. At the more extreme end, agriculture production and global food security could be so severely impacted that we are unable to adapt.

And that's not to mention an anticipated increase in the severity of other natural disasters. With the UN's Marrakech Climate Change Conference set to kick off on Monday, it is urging the world to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent more than those pledged in Paris, and it hopes its recent findings will place the need to take swifter action firmly on the agenda.

"If we don't start taking additional action now, beginning with the upcoming climate meeting in Marrakesh, we will grieve over the avoidable human tragedy," said Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment. "The growing numbers of climate refugees hit by hunger, poverty, illness and conflict will be a constant reminder of our failure to deliver. The science shows that we need to move much faster."

Source: UN 1, 2 (Microsoft Word document)

12 comments
Aristotle
Total UN b.s., just another way to redistribute wealth from the developed world to the undeveloped world. There has been no documented global warming for approximately 15 years. Of course as we came out of the last mini-Ice age period, the globe has warmed (thankfully). Refugees fleeing flooding, fire, famine and war has occurred through all of history. Remember, the UN has put countries with horrible human rights histories on the Human Rights Board.
LordInsidious
We need to start talking seriously about extracting GHG from the atmosphere if we want to go beyond the Paris agreement.
DavidOldham
The US which did not ratify it is the only major industrial country to meet the goals of the Kyoto Treaty. That was supposed to be the end all to the climate change melodrama. Fast forward to the latest statists' attempt to control the human condition, it's all a farce about control, nothing more nothing less. They are coming for your heating and air conditioning. Don't believe me well google John Kerry and air conditioning (read it and weep for humanity that people like him are given positions of importance in our world). The biggest factors in our climate are the sun and water vapor and the rest is scientific fantasy. Yes we are all going to die fortunately climate change will have nothing to do with it.
srmalloy
From a 2010 interview with Ottmar Edenhofer, then co-chair of the IPCC Working Group III: "First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole." He made a similar statement prior to the Cancun climate summit in 2010: "The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated." In 1992, Maurice Strong, organizer of the first climate summit in Rio de Janeiro, said: “We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrialized civilization to collapse. Isn’t it our responsibility to bring this about?” At the summit, then Deputy Assistant of State Richard Benedick, who at the time headed the policy divisions of the U.S. State Department, said: “A global warming treaty must be implemented even if there is no scientific evidence to back the greenhouse effect.” Kevin Trenberth, a lead author of 2001 and 2007 IPCC report chapters, writing in a 2007 “Predictions of Climate” blog appearing on the science website Nature.com, admitted: “None of the models used by the IPCC are initialized to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed state.” "Climate Change" has never been about ecological principles.
watersworm
@lordinsidious : That's the most hilariously funny thing i read for moments... Extract 0,04% of a life giving trace gas ??? What does the vegetation think about ? And the Economics ? Another funny idea is to correlate egg by egg a 0,01% CO2 EMISSION with a 0,001 Celsius (or Fahrenheit, or Kelvin) Sure our GOVERNANTS are going to stop the awful AGW grandstanding and fabricating silly so-called "green" policies (Wind, Sex and Sun ???) OMG can anybody show us ONE so called "climate refugee" ? Unless all war or famine refugees are considered as "climate" ( THE scapegoat). @srmalloy : Sure, no ONE model is available for the future It's mathematics ! (Except at random or with foolish scenarios ofdecrease of GHG's concentration in the atmosphere, when they are told to remain for decades or even centuries, so spot the mistake) And YES Ecology (the "Greens") and IPCC are all about Politics, not Science. So now, breathe normally !
watersworm
(Head illustration) It is water vapor, not CO2 ! Uh UH, in fact water vapor is about 75% of GHG... uh uh ...
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Four fifths of anthropogenic greenhouse warming is from desert irrigation. This can be seen by looking at morning lows (afternoon wet bulbs ) in the desert southwest, especially where there are lots of golf courses and evaporative cooling. These run around 68 F in July and August and are often as high as 75 F.
bwana4swahili
Personally, I'm kinda looking forward to that 2C increase in temperature! Would sure make winters more enjoyable.
amazed W1
Number one priority is to stop the uncontrolled growth in the human population and then to steadily and fairly reduce the global population back to the 1916 or other truly sustainable level. Global warming, like water shortage food shortage and even pollution, is a symptom and not the basic cause of most of our current global problems. We need religious, political intellectual leaders to have the courage to say so- the most unpopular idea that there is, and then to implement population reduction programmes. Economists have to get off the easy mantra that all economies must expand when precisely the opposite is what is needed.
UrbaneCowboy
Absolute, total BS by another unthinking, propagandizing alarmist.