“Humanity in red”

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US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was very forceful in her speech yesterday at the 26th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP26): “Humanity is in red code due to the climate crisis.”

And science agrees. According to the scientific platform Climate Action Tracker, The planet is heading ‘at least’ at a temperature increase of 2.4°C At the turn of the century in relation to pre-industrial values. So the thermometer will remain Far from the 2°C limit included in the Paris Agreement And even more than the 1.5 degrees Celsius that the United Nations and the countries that meet in Glasgow these days aspire to.

For this reason, it is not surprising the haste with which Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, urged the rest of the world leaders yesterday afternoon: “The stark truth is that we are not where we should be, We are not even close. We need to make the right decisions this year, because time is running out.”

For Timmermans, as for COP26 chief, Alok Sharma, or most representatives of the most vulnerable nations, a commitment to adaptation is the answer to the climate crisis. “We must do it now,” the Europeans urged. So I announce it The European Union will contribute $100 million to the Adaptation Fund from developing countries.

In Sharma’s words, “There’s still a mountain to climb.” To get an agreement, but climate change does not give a truce. Hence the appalling picture of Tuvalu’s Foreign Minister, Simon Covey, who has already roamed the world: he, with water on his knees, condemns need to reach ambitious agreements, They have been fulfilled and funded.

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Image from a video of a Tuvalu minister during COP26.

Without measures to reduce polluting emissions to zero before 2050, Covey said, island nations’ days are numbered. “Climate change and sea level rise are deadly threats And critical to Tuvalu and other countries at sea level. “We are drowning but so is the rest of the world,” he added.

According to a study published yesterday by the UK Met Office (MET Office), 1 billion people will be affected if temperatures exceed 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

The report presented yesterday at COP26 ensures that “the number of people in regions around the world Affected by extreme heat stress, a lethal combination of heat and humidity, it could increase nearly 15 times if the global temperature increase reached 2°C.”

The news from scientists contrasts with the optimism that prevailed at the summit this week and last. Staying below 1.5 degrees Celsius seems impossible without drastic changes, and as Sharma warned, Moves from “promises to deeds”.

New predictions

After the commitments made last week, the temperature was expected to remain inside An increase of between 1.8 and 1.9 degrees. Something that made many delegates sent to Glasgow optimistic. However, these accounts are included exclusively Long-term expectations and promises, Among them is India’s goal of achieving neutrality by 2070.

New forecasts from Climate Action Tracker, one of the world’s most respected analytics alliances, are based on short term goals the next decade.

One of the lead investigators in the coalition, Bill Hare, confirmed to the British newspaper Watchman They are concerned “that some countries are trying to convince us that the COP26 commitments are in line with the Paris target of keeping the temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius” below pre-industrial levels.

“The stark truth is we’re not where we should be, we’re not even close,” Timmermans said.

But, experts explain, exceeding this temperature will cause “irreversible damage” to our planet and to those we live on.

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That is why, as the British government’s chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, said yesterday, Changes in behavior and habits are necessary by leaders and citizens. Because, he emphasized, “the climate crisis is a much bigger problem than the coronavirus and will kill more people if urgent measures are not taken now.”

In this sense, adaptation to climate change, according to COP26 participants, is essential so that the future is not as horrific as scientists paint it. To avoid this, it was reported yesterday A group of twelve Western governments allocated $413 million – 356 million euros – to contribute to climate resilience through the Least Developed Countries Fund.

Canada, the United States, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium and the Belgian region of Wallonia will contribute to the fund, which is managed by the Global Environment Facility.

However, the head of COP26 does not give up his optimism. “I would like an ambitious deal that ends on FridayHe said in the last session of the meeting yesterday, and concluded: “The next few days will not be easy, but the public is demanding concrete actions. We can do them together.”

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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