Climate Change

UN official says human cost of climate crisis being ignored

The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change, Ian Fry, says the huge human cost of the climate crisis is being ignored.

He told the Human Rights Council that the long-term costs are not being addressed.

Mr Fry implored agencies to provide lasting support for people impacted by climate change.

Climate change a bigger threat than war, Fiji tells security summit

"Machine guns, fighter jets... are not our primary security concern. The single greatest threat to our very existence is climate change," Fiji Defence Minister Inia Seruiratu said.

He was addressing a summit in Singapore which has focused on China-US tensions and the Ukraine war.

Cyclones have repeatedly battered Fiji and other low-lying Pacific countries.

"It threatens our very hopes and dreams of prosperity. Human-induced, devastating climate change," Mr Seruiratu told the forum, called the Shangri-La Dialogue.

IPCC scientists say it's 'now or never' to limit warming

Severe flooding in western Germany in July last year caused major damage. Photo: AFP

A key UN body says in a report that there must be "rapid, deep and immediate" cuts in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Global emissions of CO2 would need to peak within three years to stave off the worst impacts.

Even then, the world would also need technology to suck CO2 from the skies by mid-century.

Human rights expert calls for more female leadership on climate

Only a handful of female leaders including New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern are on the United Nations' climate panel.

The others include German chancellor Angela Merkel, Barbados' president Mia Mottley, Iceland's prime minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, Estonian prime minister Kaja Kallas and the head of UN Climate Change Patricia Espinosa.

Many governments claim that 45 percent of their COP26 teams are women.

What's the difference between 1.5C and 2C of global warming?

The 2015 Paris Agreement commits countries to limit the global average temperature rise to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels, and to aim for 1.5C.

Scientists have said crossing the 1.5C threshold risks unleashing far more severe climate change effects on people, wildlife and ecosystems.

Preventing it requires almost halving global CO2 emissions by 2030 from 2010 levels and cutting them to net-zero by 2050 - an ambitious task that scientists, financiers, negotiators and activists at COP26 are debating how to achieve and pay for.

COP26: Pacific, EU launch landmark alliance

The EU's Ambassador to the Pacific, Sujiro Seam, who's at the UN Climate Conference, said all stakeholders lobbied for an ambitious outcome and accessibility to climate funding.

Mr Seam said the EU will need to show the Pacific how best it can support the implementation of the recently adopted Climate Change Act.

"This is a package of available financing of 197 million Euros, almost 500 million Fijian dollars for the Years 2021 to 2027. This will be implemented in the countries of the Pacific with a very strong focus on climate change."

Pacific plea to the world: Act now to reduce global warming

A call for action is underway by the secretariat at the UN Climate Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

The Director of SPREP's Climate Resilence Program, Tagaloa Cooper, said the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has highlighted the urgency with which the world needs to act.

Cooper, who's in Glasgow for the UN summit, said it's critical the Pacific voice is heard at COP26 and "our ambitions to limit emissions are realised as the people of the Pacific's very existence depends on it."

Biden, Bolsonaro and Xi among leaders agreeing deal to end deforestation

World leaders have agreed a deal that aims to halt and reverse global deforestation over the next decade as part of a multibillion-dollar package to tackle human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.

Xi Jinping, Jair Bolsonaro and Joe Biden are among the leaders who will commit to the declaration at Cop26 in Glasgow on Tuesday to protect vast areas, ranging from the eastern Siberian taiga to the Congo basin, home to the world’s second largest rainforest.

Act now for our children, Queen urges climate summit

In a video message, she said many people hoped the "time for words has now moved to the time for action".

She urged them to act "for our children and our children's children" and "rise above the politics of the moment".

The Queen added she took "great pride" in how her "dear late husband" Prince Philip promoted environmental issues.

The 95-year-old monarch had been scheduled to attend the United Nations conference in Glasgow. But she pre-recorded her address last week at Windsor Castle after being advised to rest following medical checks.

World now sees twice as many days over 50C

They also now happen in more areas of the world than before, presenting unprecedented challenges to human health and to how we live.

The total number of days above 50C has increased in each decade since 1980. On average, between 1980 and 2009, temperatures passed 50C about 14 days a year.

The number rose to 26 days a year between 2010 and 2019.

In the same period, temperatures of 45C and above occurred on average an extra two weeks a year.