Climate crisis could reverse progress in achieving gender equality

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The Conversation | December 03, 2019

People who directly depend on the natural world for their livelihoods, like farmers and fishers, will be among the greatest victims of the climate crisis. In vulnerable hotspots, such as the arid lands of Kenya and Ethiopia, farming communities are already struggling with droughts and water scarcity that kill their cattle and threaten their very survival. The glacial-fed river basins of the Himalayan mountains, or the deltas of Bangladesh, India and Ghana, are increasingly prone to floods, landslides and powerful cyclones.

As a result, men are often migrating further to keep their families going, looking for casual work in neighbouring towns or villages for a few days or weeks at a time, or to cities further away. Many try to return home when they can, with whatever they have earned. But during their absence, the entire burden of maintaining the family is on women.Read More »

Climate Emergency CoP 25: India is the only major economy to be ‘2 degree compatible’

by Tarun Gopalakrishnan, Kapil Subramanian

Down To Earth | December 02, 2019

Climate Emergency CoP 25: India is the only major economy to be “2 degree compatible”

China, India, the EU and the US accounted for almost 60 per cent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel combustion in 2017. The world will be on track to meet its targets under the Paris Agreement only if these countries / group of countries meet their respective targets.

But it is not the case as the lack of progress on overall mitigation is matched by lack of progress in delivering on equity. Per capita emissions continue to be allocated highly unequally — in 2017, per capita emissions in the US were nearly nine times as high as India’s. Let’s look at how each of these countries is performing on their respective targets as per their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Read More »

Climate Emergency CoP 25: 70% of top polluting countries failed to meet GHGs reduction target

by Tarun Gopalakrishnan, Kapil Subramanian

Down To Earth | December 01, 2019

Climate Emergency CoP 25: 70% of top polluting countries failed to meet GHGs reduction target

Photo: gettyimages Photo: gettyimages

Only six of the world’s top 20 economies, or the G20, which account for 78 per cent of the global emissions, are on course to meet their targets to reduce greenhouse gas reduction (GHGs) under the Paris Agreement — though most of these targets are woefully unambitious.

A total of 197 countries, party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), are congregating at the Conference of Parties in Madrid starting from December 2 through December 13, dubbed CoP 25, to take stock of their climate actions since the Agreement came into force in 2016 and to plan their new and more stringent targets to be announced in 2020.

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EU declares climate emergency

by DTE Staff

Down To Earth | November 29, 2019

European Parliament announces climate emergency days ahead of UN climate change Conference of Parties. Photo: Getty Images

European Union (EU) has become the first multilateral bloc to declare climate emergency, as its legislatures voted in a favour of a resolution for the same. The symbolic move is expected to pressurise countries to act ahead of the United Nations summit on climate change that starts on December 2 in Spain.

After a debate on Monday, 429 legislatures voted in favour of the declaration that calls on EU to cut emissions by 55 per cent by 2030 and become climate neutral by 2050. While 225 legislatures voted against the resolution, 19 others abstained from the voting. The dissenting lawmakers objected to the word “emergency” and pushed for the word “urgency”.Read More »

World must cut annual emissions by 7.6% till 2030 to meet 1.5°C target: UNEP

by Tarun Gopalakrishnan

Down To Earth | November 28, 2019

World must cut annual emissions by 7.6 % for next decade to meet 1.5°C Paris target, says UN report. Photo: Getty Images

World must cut annual emissions by 7.6 % for next decade to meet 1.5°C Paris target, says UN report. Photo: Getty Images World must cut annual emissions by 7.6 % for next decade to meet 1.5°C Paris target, says UN report. Photo: Getty Images

Even as nations are set to meet next year to strengthen their Paris climate pledges, a new UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report warns that the world has to cut its emissions by 7.6 per cent each year between 2020 and 2030 to get on track towards the 1.5°C temperature goal of the Paris Agreement.

In 2018, the world emitted a record high of 55.3 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent of greenhouse gases (GHG), up from the previous record of 54 gigatonnes set in 2017, highlights the UN Environment’s annual Emissions Gap report, which analyses the gap between the current emissions pathway and the pathway needed to limit warming over the coming century.

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How climate change affects health in the US (and elsewhere)

by Paul Hormick

Down To Earth | November 25, 2019

Respiratory impairments can be affected by smoke from wildfires, which are on the increase due to climate change. Photo: Getty Images
 A wildfire near Santa Barbara, California, United States. Photo: Getty Images

A recent study in the United States (US) comprehensively links climate change and costs associated with public health.

Researchers looked at both, national and locally-collected health data on ten types of climate-related events that occurred in the United States in 2012.

The study, published in GeoHealth, calculated the health burden of increased heat and more severe weather of these ten events, which resulted in 917 deaths, over 20,000 hospitalisations, and almost 18,000 cases of emergency department care.Read More »