Tag Archives: United Nations

London march for global action on climate change

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Campaigners marched through central London on Sunday to demand global action on climate change, in one of thousands of events worldwide ahead of a UN climate summit.

Some 2,000 events took place in 150 countries, with more than 100,000 people taking to the streets of New York – where the summit is being held – to demand leaders take action to tackle rising temperatures. The summit has been convened by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, in a bid to drive action and momentum towards talks in Paris in 2015, where it is hoped a new global climate treaty can be agreed.

In London, campaigners were joined by celebrities, including actress Emma Thompson and musician Peter Gabriel, and church bells rang to mark the march through Westminster to Parliament, where speeches and a rally were held.

Thompson said: “There is little time left to prevent the worst excesses of climate change, yet our world leaders continue to stall. I’ve witnessed the impact climate change is already having on the melting Arctic and on poverty-stricken communities in the developing world. We can’t go on pretending nothing’s happening.”

In a statement on his website, Peter Gabriel said: “This big blue ball is the only possible home for humanity in the near future. If our family home was being destroyed and poisoned in the same way, we would do something immediately.

“This is not just a campaign for activists, but for everyone who wants to live on a planet capable of sustaining us. We will only achieve a sustainable future if global citizens demand global action.”

Climate change ‘likely to be more severe than predicted’

Extreme weather has been much in evidence around the globe  this year, with superstorm Sandy’s devastating impact on New York being the most recent example. There has also been drought across much of the United States’s  grain-growing area, and problems with the Indian monsoon.

In the UK, one of the worst droughts on record gave way to the wettest spring recorded, damaging crops and pushing up prices.

Scientists who have been analysing climate models believe we can expect much more of this in future. A survey by the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research  has shown that climate change is likely to be more severe than some models have implied,  meaning more extreme weather, sooner than we expected.

The new finding come just weeks ahead of a crucial UN conference in Doha, where ministers will discuss the future of international action on greenhouse gas emissions. There has already been increasing evidence of a warming effect this year  – the Arctic’s summer ice sank to its lowest extent and volume yet recorded and experts have predicted that the Arctic seas could be ice-free in winter in the next decade.

The International Energy Agency warned earlier this year that on current emissions trends the world would be in for 6C of warming – a level scientists warn would lead to chaos.

Climate change ‘likely to be more severe than some models predict’ | Environment | guardian.co.uk.