World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Climate change: Act now or pay a high price, says UN expert

GENEVA (8 October 2018) – States must accelerate action to address climate change — from solar electricity to climate-friendly agriculture practices — or risk locking in decades of grave human rights violations, a UN expert says.

In a statement following the release of a new scientific report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), David R. Boyd, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, said that climate change rated as one of the greatest threats to human rights.

“Climate change is having and will have devastating effects on a wide range of human rights including rights to life, health, food, housing, and water, as well as the right to a healthy environment,” he said.

“The world is already witnessing the impacts of climate change — from hurricanes in America, heat waves in Europe, droughts in Africa to floods in Asia.”

Boyd said that for 25 years, scientists have issued increasingly clear warnings about the urgency of transforming economies and societies in cleaner, greener directions.

“There are scientific and feasible solutions to limit the damage,” he said. “States — particularly wealthy nations with high emissions — must act now to meet their human rights obligations and not only fulfill but go beyond their commitments under the Paris Agreement.”

The new report from the IPCC describes the challenges that humanity faces in the race to prevent potentially catastrophic climate change. The IPCC report identifies plausible trajectories that would improve both human and ecosystem health. However, the IPCC warns that these positive outcomes will require “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” Keeping the temperature increase below 1.5 degrees requires urgent action to implement stronger policies and increase the level of ambition beyond commitments made under 2015’s Paris Accord.

The difference between a 1.5 degree increase and a 2.0 degree increase is dramatic. The latter would likely inflict human rights violations upon millions of people. It would increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events from heat waves to superstorms, decrease water availability and agricultural production in vulnerable areas, and increase the risk of “Hothouse Earth.”

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Hong Kong Protest Movement

The pro-democracy protests enjoy huge support among Hong Kong’s youth, partly because the democratic systems currently at risk have only a limited time span. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific Island Forum: Australia v Everyone Else On Climate Action

Traditionally, communiques capture the consensus reached at the meeting. In this case, the division on display between Australia and the Pacific meant the only commitment is to commission yet another report into what action needs to be taken. More>>

ALSO:

For NZ, It Was May 6: Earth Overshoot Day 2019 Is The Earliest Ever

Humanity is currently using nature 1.75 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate. This is akin to using 1.75 Earths... More>>

ALSO:

Asylum: More Manus Refugees Fly To US But Hundreds Still In Limbo

“The US deal was never going to provide enough places for the refugees Australia has held on Manus and Nauru. There are over 1800 refugees needing resettlement,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. More>>

ALSO: