News Digest | December 16-31

Climate Future news recap in December

UNESCO marks semi-centennial anniversary of biosphere preservation

The UN cultural agency marked the 50th anniversary of its Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB) which was founded in 1971 and has been developing a long-lasting connection between nature and people. Today 727 biosphere reserves combine sustainable development and nature conservation in 131 countries with 22 transboundary sites. In the Arab States, there are 35 sites in 14 countries; Africa, 86 sites in 31 countries; Europe and North America, 306 sites in 24 countries; Asia and the Pacific, 168 sites in 40 countries and 132 sites in 24 Latin American and Caribbean countries. The uncommon fauna and diverse vegetation in Tanzania’s Gombe Masito Ugalla Biosphere Reserve are the home to the largest chimpanzee community in the country. In 1996, the Maolan in China was regarded as a biosphere reserve. Transition to clean energy at the El Hierro Biosphere Reserve in Spain demonstrates the ongoing efforts to live in accord with nature. 

UN humanitarians aid Philippines response to Super Typhoon Rai

The top UN humanitarian coordinator in the archipelago, Gustavo Gonzalez said that aid assistant teams had touched communities in need of emergency assistance for the first time at the weekend. He has to coordinate the response by UN agencies in the Philippines, together with private sector partners and NGOs in the country which are working with the Government to reach immediate needs in food, protection, health, shelter and other life-saving actions. Since the storm made landfall, around 1.8 million people have suffered from the catastrophe and at least 208 people died according to reports. The UN Philippines aid chief said “we are working together with Government authorities to make sure that we provide timely support and are absolutely mobilized in solving critical gaps and the needs of the most vulnerable community.” Some 300,000 people were evacuated and the primary needs such as food, shelter, clean water, fuel, medicines, hygiene kits and protection services are required urgently. The Philippines experiences an average of 25 typhoons each year with regular earthquakes.

Can recycling cut unsafe migration from Haiti?

The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched the new initiative which will help to improve the environment and provide resilient new housing to natural disasters. On 18 December, the International Day of Migrants, UN Haiti started to look at how recycling could contribute towards people staying at home instead of risking migration through irregular and unofficial channels. One of the main reasons of Haitians want to move out from the country is the environmental degradation such as soil erosion and deforestation. That leads to unstable livelihoods and people are falling deeper into poverty. Especially, people in rural areas are facing that issue. According to the research, people are more vulnerable to natural disasters and more likely to migrate to search for safer and better life. Recycled plastic could be utilized to build earthquake resistant structures. Waste management in Haiti is worse than other countries in the region. Recycling is an initiative to lessen waster and upgrade the environment and produce a number of benefits, even with a limited scale. Plastic recycling brings many benefits with a cleaner, less polluted and healthier environment. The IOM project makes partnership with the Haitian government and recycling organizations by aiming to multiply the benefits of recycling.

Climate change a material financial risk

The various stakeholders in the US, UK, Australia and the commonwealth countries are increasing urgently to force the leaders of companies and governments to recognize their responsibilities in giving them protection with financial and other impacts of climate change. In early 2021, Engine No.1, a six-month old hedge fund managed around $250 millions with assets owned a slight silver of 0.02% of ExxonMobil which was worth $250 billion of the oil and gas giant. This year, India was one of the 120 nations which gathered at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to solve interaction over the global climate crisis. India committed to receive 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and to reduce carbon emissions by one billion tons to reach NetZero by 2070 as it is the world’s fourth biggest emitter of carbon dioxide after China, the US and the EU. The future will see litigation strategies dominate action by various stakeholders in other industries, mainly the manufacturing sectors and the carbon majors. Litigations and disputes with stakeholders indicate economic costs and financial risks to the company. That would consist of legal costs, damages, fines, increased insurance premiums and market valuations.

Labour losses due to rising heat: India among the most affected, finds study

Economic failures together with loss in productivity can reach up to $1.6 trillion annually if warming becomes an additional 2 degree Celsius relative to the present. Temperature rises and humidity because of global warming has led to major loss in labor hours around the world. According to a new study of Duke University researchers, India is one of the worst affected countries. Since humidity and heat levels rise due to climate change, options for moving outdoor labor to cooler hours will significantly shrink by leading to obvious worldwide labor losses. Labor losses from heat exposure are variable with different countries in South Asia, Southwest Asia and Africa which experienced per-capita and 12-hour workday labor losses. Critical jobs such as construction work and agricultural work will become nearly impossible to perform safely in the afternoon of the summer in many places. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), the global productivity losses will be equivalent to 80 million full-time jobs in 2030 with the increase in heat stress from global warming.

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