At a landmark global summit in Glasgow this week, world leaders must reckon with and take specific steps to curb global warming.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently described the crisis: “We have reached a tipping point in the need for climate action. The disruption to our climate and our planet is already worse than we thought.
“It’s moving faster than predicted… we must act NOW to prevent further irreversible damage,” according to the top U.N. official.
As President Biden said in a recent U.N. General Assembly address: “Will we meet the threat of the challenging climate we’re already feeling, which is ravaging every part of our world with extreme weather?
“Or will we suffer the merciless march of ever-worsening droughts and floods, more intense fires and hurricanes, rising seas, and longer heatwaves?”
President Biden added: “In April, I announced the United States will double our public international financing to help developing nations tackle the climate crisis… and we’ll work with Congress to double that number again. Glasgow must be the start of a decade to fight climate change.”
Mr. Biden said that “within three decades, the United States can meet our global climate commitments by de-carbonizing the power sector, electrifying transportation and buildings, transforming industry, transforming industry, reducing CO2 emissions, and re-invigorating forests and our natural lands.”
A glimpse at the latest data at the end of October
It’s indeed frightening. An early report at the nearly 200-nation Glasgow meeting foresees no easing of the crisis in 2021. The World Meteorology Association says that based on the first nine months this year, the trend continues.
As the WMA report put it: “The past seven years are on track to be the seven warmest years the world has ever witnessed, and the global sea level rose to the highest level ever.”
The latest study is based on input from several U.N. agencies, national weather services, and writings by weather experts.
“Scientists are now clear on the facts,” according to U.N. Secretary-General Guterres. “Now, leaders must be just as clear in their actions. The door is open. The solutions are clear. Our current Glasgow summit must be a turning point.
“We must act now,” the Secretary-General added. The summit is due to conclude on November 12. The world eagerly awaits its final recommendations. Watch this space for a summit-ending wrap-up.
As a 36-year veteran of the Voice of America (VOA), Alan Heil traveled to more than 40 countries a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, and later as director of News and Current Affairs, deputy director of programs, and deputy director of the nation’s largest publicly-funded overseas multimedia network. Today, VOA reaches more than 275 million people around the world each week via radio, television and online media. Read More