New climate approach plan by UAE sensible - GulfToday

New climate approach plan by UAE sensible

The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Exceptional and prolonged temperatures in Siberia have left parts of the Arctic warmer than sub-tropical Florida, and fuelled devastating wildfires for a second consecutive year, as per the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

Rapidly decreasing sea ice along the Russian polar coast is also a matter of serious concern.

Climate change is a matter that does not allow any complacency on the part of the global community.

Temperatures in Siberia have been more than 5˚C above average from January to June, and in June up to 10˚C above average.

Some parts of Siberia this week have again topped 30 degrees Celsius – so it’s been warmer in Siberia than many parts of Florida.

We’ve had exceptional and prolonged heat for months now and this has fuelled devastating Arctic fires; and at the same time we’re seeing rapidly decreasing sea coverage along the Arctic coast, as WMO spokesperson Clare Nullis points out. Their estimated total carbon emissions since January are the highest in 18 years, when the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service of wildfires began.

The development follows an astonishing reading of 38°C in the Russian town of Verkhoyansk on 20 June.

Worrying footage of the forest fires close to the ocean have certainly underscored the need for urgent climate action by nations and greater commitment to achieving the pledges made in the Paris Climate Agreement, including efforts to limit global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

Highlighting new climate research published in the journal Nature Climate Change pointing to irreversible threats to the Arctic ecosystem, the WMO spokesperson has aptly noted that polar bears — which as we all know is a symbol of climate change — could be nearly extinct by the end of the century, if sea ice continues to shrink at current rates.

The Arctic is heating more than twice the global average causing serious worry.

In this background, the UAE has rightly called on the UN Security Council to play its part in addressing climate change during an open meeting convened by Germany as this month’s president of the Security Council’s meeting on climate and security.

The UAE has emphasised that the Security Council must work hand-in-hand with development and humanitarian actors to curtail the likelihood of conflict in climate-vulnerable communities.

To operationalise the climate-security nexus within the Security Council, the UAE recommended that the Council enhance and standardise the analysis of security implications of climate change in the situations on the Council’s agenda.

 In practical terms, the UN could begin targeted training for UN staff in conflict settings where climate is most relevant.

The UAE has also correctly underscored the need for further development of the UN’s “anticipatory action” capabilities, particularly the use of climate-linked forecasts in Security Council deliberations, in order to mobilise resources and mandates before a crisis worsens.

The UN humanitarian agencies and the World Bank deserve commendation for investing in the infrastructure to credibly predict climate disasters and stresses and disburse resources in advance to save lives and reduce relief costs.

Another valuable proposal by the UAE is that the UN’s peacekeeping and political missions – authorised by the Security Council – receive enhanced guidance and internal controls to ensure that they are not intensifying local climate effects.

These include groundwater depletion, deforestation, and the use of non-renewable energy supply. Renewable energy is substantially cheaper than other supply options in fragile settings and would create long-term infrastructure for local communities.

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