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UN climate chief stresses the importance of curbing global warming – caribbeannationalweekly.com

The United Nations Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary, Simon Stiell Tuesday stressed the importance of curbing global warming to 1.5 degrees, saying it is a goal set by the Paris Agreement but also grounded firmly in science and hard data.

“Anything beyond a 1.5 rise increases the risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth. For many, it is already a living hell… every fraction of a degree beyond 1.5 increasingly puts human life on this planet in peril,” he told the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference (COP 27), calling on countries to be “rigorous” in their efforts to uphold their commitments in the Glasgow Climate Pact to keep 1.5 in sight.

The former Grenada government minister had on Monday called on parties to “bridge the divide” in Sharm el-Sheikh to ensure rapid action on mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage finance and accountability, encouraged nations to come out with “substantive positions” to move forward on these issues.

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On Tuesday, the UN climate chief noted positively that South Africa has launched a multimillion-dollar plan to shift from coal toward green energy, calling it a key moment in the global push for the transition away from fossil fuels.

“We anticipate hearing more ambition in this area when G20 ministers meet this week in Bali. So, we are making headway at COP27, but moving further and faster also means action beyond COP to drive down emissions,” Stiell said.

At the G20 in Bali, a coalition of countries, led by the United States and Japan, announced they will invest US$20 billion to sharply reduce Indonesia’s reliance on coal and to transition the Southeast Asian nation to renewable power.

Currently, Indonesia is one the world’s largest consumers of coal and the world’s fifth largest greenhouse emitter.

Meanwhile, the energy sector, responsible for more than two-thirds of global greenhouse emissions, is mainly powered by fossil fuels. While this brings electricity and transport to most of the world, it is accompanied by deep pain and loss to vulnerable communities and ecosystems.

According to the International Renewable Agency (IRENA), only 29 percent of global electricity generation currently comes from renewables, and carbon emissions continue an upward trend.

CMC/

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