Mastodon "We are living through climate collapse in real time and the impact is devastating" UN Secretary General calls for phase out of Fossil Fuels at COP28 | Climate Citizen --> Mastodon

Friday, December 1, 2023

"We are living through climate collapse in real time and the impact is devastating" UN Secretary General calls for phase out of Fossil Fuels at COP28

Rather than attend the Opening Plenary of COP28, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres provided a video message for the  World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) launch of their Provisional State of the Global Climate 2023 report.   

He carefully summarised some of the main points of the report and said "We are living through climate collapse in real time and the impact is devastating". He called for committing at COP28 to phase out fossil fuels, with a clear time frame aligned to the 1.5-degree limit.

Describing the provisional WMO report, WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taala said, 

“Greenhouse gas levels are record high. Global temperatures are record high. Sea level rise is record high. Antarctic sea ice is record low. It’s a deafening cacophony of broken records,” 

“These are more than just statistics. We risk losing the race to save our glaciers and to rein in sea level rise. We cannot return to the climate of the 20th century, but we must act now to limit the risks of an increasingly inhospitable climate in this and the coming centuries,” he said.  

“Extreme weather is destroying lives and livelihoods on a daily basis – underlining the imperative need to ensure that everyone is protected by early warning services,” said Prof. Taalas.

The WMO provisional State of the Global Climate report was published to inform negotiations at COP28 in Dubai.

So what are the key findings of the WMO report...

  • The global mean near-surface temperature in 2023 (to October) was around 1.40 ± 0.12 °C above the 1850–1900 average. Based on the data to October, it is virtually certain that 2023 will be the warmest year in the 174-year observational record, surpassing the previous joint warmest years, 2016 at 1.29 ± 0.12 °C above the 1850–1900 average and 2020 at 1.27±0.13 °C.
  • The past nine years, 2015–2023, will be the nine warmest years on record. 
  • Record monthly global temperatures have been observed for the ocean – from April through to September – and, starting slightly later, the land – from July through to September.
  • The ten-year average 2014–2023 (to October) global temperature is 1.19±0.12°C above the 1850–1900 average, the warmest 10-year period on record.
  • Observed concentrations of the three main greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide – reached record high levels in 2022, the latest year for which consolidated global values are available (1984–2022). Real-time data from specific locations show that levels of the three greenhouse gases continued to increase in 2023.
  • Ocean heat content reached its highest level in 2022, the latest available full year of data in the 65-year observational record.
  • In 2023, global mean sea level reached a record high in the satellite record (1993 to present), reflecting continued ocean warming as well as the melting of glaciers and ice sheets. The rate of global mean sea level in rise in the past ten years (2013–2022) is more than twice the rate of sea level rise in the first decade of the satellite record (1993–2002).
  • Antarctic sea-ice extent reached an absolute record low for the satellite era (1979 to present) in February. Ice extent was at a record low from June onwards, and the annual maximum in September was far below the previous record low maximum.
  • Glaciers in western North America and the European Alps experienced an extreme melt season. In Switzerland, glaciers lost around 10% of their remaining volume in the past two years.
  • Extreme weather continues to lead to severe socio-economic impacts. Extreme heat affected many parts of the world. Wildfires in Hawaii, Canada and Europe led to loss of life, the destruction of homes and large-scale air pollution. Flooding associated with extreme rainfall from Mediterranean Cyclone Daniel affected Greece, Bulgaria, Türkiye, and Libya with particularly heavy loss of life in Libya.
  • Food security, population displacements and impacts on vulnerable populations continue to be of concern in 2023, with weather and climate hazards exacerbating the situation in many parts of the world.
  • Extreme weather and climate conditions continued to trigger new, prolonged, and secondary displacement in 2023 and increased the vulnerability of many who were already uprooted by complex multi-causal situations of conflict and violence. 

Canadian climatologist on State of Global Climate Report

A 50 minute explanation of this provisional report (to October) from the WMO.

UN Secretary General speech at launch

The State of the Global Climate in 2023 is stark and clear:

Things are moving so fast that a full month before the end of the year, we can already declare that 2023 is the hottest year recorded in human history.

  • Sea levels have reached record highs – and the rise is accelerating;
  • Sea surface temperatures have reached a record high;
  • And sea ice levels in Antarctica have hit a record low.  
  • Swiss glaciers have lost ten per cent of their volume in the past two years.

I have just come back from Nepal, where I was shocked at the speed of receding glaciers and the dramatic consequences.

We are living through climate collapse in real time – and the impact is devastating.

This year has seen communities around the world pounded by fires, floods, and searing temperatures.

Record global heating should send shivers down the spines of world leaders.

And it should trigger them to act.

We have the roadmap to limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius and avoid the worst of climate chaos.   

But we need leaders to fire the starting gun at COP28 on a race to keep the 1.5 degree limit alive:

By setting clear expectations for the next round of climate action plans and committing to the partnerships and finance to make them possible;

By committing to triple renewables and double energy efficiency;

And committing to phase out fossil fuels, with a clear time frame aligned to the 1.5-degree limit.  

We must also go further and faster in protecting people from climate chaos.

Every person on Earth must be protected by an early warning system by 2027, by putting in place the action plan we launched last year.

And every vulnerable developing country should have the support they need to develop and implement adaptation investment plan by 2025. 

Leaders must get the Loss and Damage Fund off to a flying start, with generous, early contributions.

Developed countries must honour the promise to deliver $100 billion a year in climate finance;

And they must present a clear plan showing how they will make good on their commitment to double adaptation finance by 2025, as a first step to ensuring at least half of all climate finance goes to adaptation.

Today’s report shows we’re in deep trouble.

Leaders must get us out of it – starting at COP28.

Thank you.


UN Secretary General calls for fossil fuel phaseout 

The Guardian reports that according to French state-backed news agency AFP before embarking on his flight to attend the conference in Dubai, Guterres said:

Obviously I am strongly in favour of language that includes (a) phaseout, even with a reasonable time framework.

We have the potential, the technologies and the capacity and the money - because the money is available, it’s a question of making sure it goes into the right direction- to do what is necessary, not only to keep the 1.5 degrees alive, but alive and well.

The only thing that is still lacking is political will.


UN Secretary General, 30 November 2023, Secretary-General's video message to the WMO “State of the Global Climate 2023” Report launch

WMO, 30 November 2023, Provisional State of the Global Climate in 2023,

WMO, 30 November 2023, 2023 shatters climate records, with major impacts

No comments:

Post a Comment