Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

July 15, 2021

Climate change has been a constant encompassing the entire history of the earth, as well as the emergence of humanity. Most recent large scale climate events relate to glacial and interglacial cycles, with the present interglacial period - the Holocene lasting for about 11,700. There are also shorter climate variations like prolonged rainy or drought periods which, according to scientists, already had ancient civilizations thinking about climate change.

However, never before in the earth’s history did humanity have such a large scale impact on the environment, driven mainly, but not limited to greenhouse gas emission, and the resulting in large-scale shifts in weather patterns.

Due to human activities such as fossil fuel burning, agriculture, deforestation and of course various industrial processes, the average global temperatures have risen for a full 1 ºC just in the recent 50 years and the last decade was the warmest one recorded in history.

Climate change affects each country of the world. Its impact affects not only national economies, but also lives and livelihoods, especially those in vulnerable conditions.  Climate change continues exacerbating the frequency of natural disasters, such as massive wildfires, droughts, hurricanes and floods.

The SDG 13 covers a wide range of issues surrounding climate action. There are five targets in total. The first three targets are "output targets": Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related disasters; integrate climate change measures into policies and planning; build knowledge and capacity to meet climate change. The remaining two targets are "means of achieving" targets: To implement the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; and to promote mechanisms to raise capacity for planning and management. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.

Although greenhouse gas emissions droped 6,4% in 2020 due to travel bans and economic slowdowns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, this improvement is only temporary. Climate change is not on pause. Once the global economy begins to recover from the pandemic, emissions are expected to return to higher levels.

However, the pandemic has provided a unique perspective on the challenges that lie ahead. The UN estimates that the world would need to cut carbon emissions by 7.6% per year for the next decade to prevent the globe from warming more than 1.5 ºC above pre-industrial levels — a goal set in the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

Now is the perfect time to examine the way we live and do business with particular focus on transport, energy, agriculture, production and consumption, and of course, re-evaluate and re-conceptualize them.

The climate emergency requires radical and immediate action!


UN SDG 13: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/climate-change/