From the March-April 2022 issue of News & Letters
“An atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership.”
—UN Secretary-General António Guterres
A new major scientific report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body of experts convened by the UN, gives the most detailed description of the dangers posed by the continuing climate crisis of global heating: a frightening future of flooding, fire and famine which will displace millions, species disappearing and the earth irreparably damaged.
To avoid this catastrophic impact there needs to be a sharp reduction in the emissions of greenhouse gases. Among them carbon dioxide and methane are heating the planet. But nations are spectacularly failing to act quickly enough.
As usual, the world’s poorest nations are already paying the heaviest price (see “Madagascar reveals climate crisis,” this page). The report stated that between 2010 and 2020, drought, floods and storms killed 15 times as many people in highly vulnerable countries, including those in Africa and Asia, as in the wealthiest countries. Those countries will require hundreds of billions of dollars per year in financial support to protect themselves—but the wealthier nations have been slow to respond.