Inaction over climate emergency ‘not an option’ says UN Assembly chief

Inaction over climate emergency ‘not an option’ says UN Assembly chief

Inaction when it comes to the fightback against damaging climate change is not an option, the President of the UN General Assembly told a major energy conference in Abu Dhabi.

Tijani Muhammad-Bande was addressing the International Organization for Renewable Energy High-Level meeting on the particular threat faced by Small Island Developing States, or SIDS, and their partners in development.

“Inaction will put at risk all life on earth as we know it”, warned the veteran Nigerian diplomat. “Inaction will only lead to more severe and extreme weather events, land degradation and deforestation, loss of biodiversity, pollution, and acidification of oceans, global food insecurity as well as drought and floods.”

More than 1,500 delegates including senior ministers, heads of international and regional organizations together with finance leaders and private sector executives are meeting for the 10th session of the International Renewable Energy Agency Assembly (IRENA), in the United Arab Emirates.

“Despite our collective disappointment with the international community’s inability to reach consensus on vital issues during the last Climate Change Conference (COP 25), we are here to chart a way forward, with respect to a related matter: renewable energy,” said Mr. Muhammad-Bande.

“Inaction will lead to continued sea-level rise, risking the displacement of 280 million people from coastal areas and islands by 2050”, he reminded the session.

He noted that rising sea levels put the low-lying nations and their entire infrastructure at risk, literally eating away territory, “with some states at risk of being partially or fully submerged in the not too distant future.”

Original source: UN News
Published on 10 January 2019