Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, challenged the world to reinvent the international order and do better by small island states that are on the frontlines of the climate crisis, fighting for their survival in a war they did not start.
“An international order that is not inclusive, or strongly rooted in fairness and moral legitimacy will fail to halt and reverse climate change,” Ms. Mottley said while delivering the prestigious 16th Raúl Prebisch Lecture at the United Nations’ European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on 10 September.
Aside from polluting oil spills and acoustic disruption of marine wildlife, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) estimates that international shipping emitted 812 million tonnes of CO2 in 2015. If shipping were a country, it would rank sixth, just ahead of Germany, if you compare it to country-level anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Without drastic action, CO2 emissions from international shipping could increase by up to 250 per cent by 2050, warns the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
One of the world’s most important institutions in the fight against climate change is also one of the UN’s most opaque.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao), headquartered in downtown Montreal, has been charged with reducing the rising carbon emissions from international flight – an enormous commercial, technical and public relations challenge for the industry.
Between 2013 and 2018, aviation sector emissions grew from 710 to 905 million tonnes of CO2, according to the latest estimates by the International Air Transport Association (Iata). Flying now generates just under 3% of global emissions, roughly the same as Germany. Icao’s own forecast anticipates emissions to increase by up to 300% by 2050 under business as usual.
The Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) has published a report calling on governments and businesses to take action to innovate and advance climate adaptation solutions based on new research findings. The report explains that climate adaptation can deliver a “triple dividend” by avoiding future losses, generating positive economic gains through innovation, and delivering additional social and environmental benefits.
The report titled, ‘Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience,’ finds that adaptation can lead to significant economic returns and that investing USD 1.8 trillion globally from 2020 to 2030 in five climate adaptation areas could result in USD 7.1 trillion in net benefits. The five areas – early warning systems, climate-resilient infrastructure, improved dryland agriculture, mangrove protection and investments in increasing water resource resilience – represent only a portion of total investments needed and total benefits available.