By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres has said the climate has already changed dramatically and half of humanity is in the danger zone.
He added that vulnerable communities in climate hotspots are being blindsided by cascading climate disasters without any means of prior alert.
The secretary-general stated this in his remarks at the launch of the early warnings for all executive action plans, as part of activities marking the COP 27, in Egypt
In his words the past eight years have been the hottest on record, noting that climate disruption is already drastically increasing the magnitude of natural disasters.
“People in Africa, South Asia, South, and Central America, and the inhabitants of small island states are 15 times more likely to die from climate disasters. These disasters displace three times more people than war. And the situation is getting worse.” he said
The Executive Secretary noted that half of the world lacks multi-hazard early warning systems, and even fewer have climate resilience measures and local disaster preparedness plans, further adding that countries with limited early warning coverage have disaster mortality eight times higher than countries with high coverage.
He noted that those who have contributed least to the climate crisis are the most at risk and the least protected. He said half of the world lacks multi-hazard early warning systems, and even less have climate resilience measures and local disaster preparedness plans. He added that countries with limited early warning coverage have disaster mortality eight times higher than countries with high coverage.
“Current climate policies will condemn the world to a disastrous 2.8-degree temperature rise by the end of the century. Our collective goal is to limit that rise to 1.5 degrees, but greenhouse gas emissions are still climbing”
The Action Plan launched sets out the way forward to right this wrong, and protect lives and livelihoods.
He said the United Nations system, governments, and partners will work together, through policy, scientific and technical, and financial action tracks to achieve the goal within five years.
“With an initial investment of about $3.1 billion dollars, we will be able to address gaps across the four key pillars of early warning systems: To ensure effective implementation of this plan, I have asked the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction to co-lead an Advisory Board. The Board will provide strategic guidance to countries with existing early warning systems and help establish systems in vulnerable countries to reduce loss and damage and will report on progress annually.