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New UN report  bares faster earth warming

EDITORIAL

Published

E CARTOON SEP 20, 2019In 2016, the United Nations Convention on Climate Change in Paris called on the nations of the world to undertake  individual programs to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere that  are causing world  temperatures  to rise.  It was agreed then that global warming  should be held down below  2 degrees Celsius – 1.5 degrees, if possible – above pre-industrial  levels.

The  UN has now  released a new report saying that the  current use of  fossil  fuels appears  to be warming  the  earth’s surface more  rapidly than previously believed. Citing  studies by two leading  research centers in France cooperating with the UN, the report said the new  projections show that at the present  rate  at which the earth’s surface  temperature  is rising because of carbon emissions,  the average  earth temperature by 2100 could  be higher by 6.5 to 7 degrees.

Last  May, UN Secretary General Antonio  Guterres said, “We’re still losing the battle. Climate change is still  running  faster than we are,  and if we don’t reverse this  trend, it will be a tragedy for the whole world.” This latest report supports his fears.

UN scientists have pointed  out that with  barely one degree of warming so far, the world is already  coping with increasingly deadly heat waves, droughts, floods, tropical cyclones,  and hurricanes.  The Bahamas and the eastern states of the United States have just been hit by  hurricane Dorian  and are now bracing for hurricane  Humberto.

Hundreds of fires are devastating the great Amazon  forest  in South America. Icebergs are fast  melting in  the northern  polar regions, particularly in  Iceland and Greenland. The melting glaciers, in turn, are raising  ocean  levels, threatening  to inundate low-lying islands around the world. Indonesia  has announced  it  is  moving its capital  Jakarta to  another island, because the present site  is fast sinking while surrounding  waters are  fast  rising.

The  biggest producer of carbon emissions today  is  the United States, the world’s top industrial country.  Unfortunately, it is also  the  lone country which rejected the Paris agreement and its goals, probably because  it  wants to protect  its coal industry.

It  is  hoped that the latest UN report – that  world temperatures are  rising faster than earlier feared – will encourage  the US to restudy its position and join the rest of the world  and  pledge  to curb  its carbon  emissions.

The Philippines has its own pledge which  it submitted to the Paris conference in 2016. We trust that our government  is keeping true to this pledge.

 

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