Inaction over climate emergency ‘not an option’ says UN Assembly chief

UNDP Tuvalu/Aurélia Rusek The low-lying island nation, Tuvalu, in the Pacific Ocean is particularly susceptible to higher sea levels caused by climate change.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Inaction when it comes to the fight back against damaging climate change is not an option, the President of the UN General Assembly told a major energy conference in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Tijani Muhammad-Bande was addressing the International Organization for Renewable Energy High-Level meeting on the particular threat faced by Small Island Developing States, or SIDS, and their partners in development.

“Inaction will put at risk all life on earth as we know it”, warned the veteran Nigerian diplomat. “Inaction will only lead to more severe and extreme weather events, land degradation and deforestation, loss of biodiversity, pollution and acidification of oceans, global food insecurity as well as drought and floods.”

More than 1,500 delegates including senior ministers, heads of international and regional organizations together with finance leaders and private sector executives are meeting for the 10th session of the International Renewable Energy Agency Assembly (IRENA), in the United Arab Emirates.

“Despite our collective disappointment with the international community’s inability to reach consensus on vital issues during the last Climate Change Conference (COP 25), we are here to chart a way forward, with respect to a related matter: renewable energy,” said Mr. Muhammad-Bande.

“Inaction will lead to continued sea level rise, risking the displacement of 280 million people from coastal areas and islands by 2050”, he reminded the session.

“Climate change is the single greatest security and development threat facing SIDS, despite this being a crisis not of their making. SIDS are bearing the climate crisis’ most immediate and most severe consequences, including greater recurrence of devastating natural disasters that erase development gains and create additional debt burdens.”

He noted that rising sea levels put the low-lying nations and their entire infrastructure at risk, literally eating away territory, “with some states at risk of being partially or fully submerged in the not too distant future.”

Help SIDS thrive, not just survive

The international community must “exert all efforts” to ensure that the civilizations that have settled on small island States for often thousands of years, “are not only safeguarded but thrive in the future”, he added.

Climate change is indifferent to borders and is thus not amenable to ‘national’ solutions. We are all in this together.”

The General Assembly’s top official told the room that “we are duty-bound to ensure that no one is left behind, and that we reach the farthest left behind first. Commitments to assist in funding the SDGs, including climate action, have been reiterated. Sadly, action has lagged far behind. We need to reverse this before it is too late for our SIDS brothers and sisters, and indeed for us all.”

SIDS were a key focus during September’s opening week of the Assembly, when a high-level summit was convened to discuss their vulnerability, and the search for solutions, on the fronline of the climate crisis.

“Small Island Developing States are a special case for sustainable development, said the UN chief, António Guterres, during the late September meeting. They require the concerted long-term attention and investment of the entire international community”, he said.

Mr. Muhammad-Bande said that despite all the challenges, SIDS are still leading the way in implementing their ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit climate change to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

More need from the international community

“It is the international community that is now required to do more to support and match their efforts, including by facilitating concessionary financing for SIDS’ adaptation and mitigation initiatives.

IRENA’s work, as one of the custodians of ‘SDG 7: Sustainable Energy for All’, is vital for its implementation and a just transition to the new green economy globally”, he added.

“Time is running out for the woman losing her livelihood to climate-induced desertification; for the child who will have to abandon her home to a rapidly-rising sea level; and for the communities that will have to build back only to be washed away again.”

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Lebanon: UN rights office calls for de-escalation of protest violence

Here’s how companies can make sure they are blockchain-ready

Why the financial scandals multiply?

JADE Generations Club: Connecting perspectives, changing Europe.

At global health forum, UN officials call for strong, people-focused health systems

To entrepreneurship and beyond!

My ‘’cultural’’ contacts with China

‘We are nowhere closer’ to Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, than a year ago, Security Council hears

‘Rare but devastating’ tsunamis underscore need for better preparation, UN chief urges on World Day

‘Regional security and integration’ in Central Africa under threat, Security Council warned

‘Spectre of poverty’ hangs over tribes and indigenous groups: UN labour agency

Recovery and Resilience Facility: Romania submits official recovery and resilience plan

Artificial intelligence: Commission takes forward its work on ethics guidelines

Industrial policy: recommendations to support Europe’s leadership in six strategic business areas

The ocean is teeming with microplastic – a million times more than we thought, suggests new research

Can Obama attract Iran close to the US sphere of influence?

Bring killers of journalists to justice: UN agency seeks media partners for new campaign

Regulate social media platforms to defend democracy, MEPs say

Canada has the most comprehensive and elaborate migration system, but some challenges remain

G20 LIVE: World Leaders in Turkey for G20 Summit. Global Economy will be discussed in Antalya

These countries are the most optimistic about economic recovery from the pandemic

Last-chance Commission: Why Juncker promised investments of €300 billion?

COP25: Developing nation’s strike hard

Ireland’s planning to make its Emerald Isle even greener

Peer-to-peer learning: a way to develop medical students’ trainings

ISIL continues to pose a ‘serious challenge’ worldwide – UN counter-terror chief

Biodiversity: MEPs demand binding targets to protect wildlife and people

Leaders need hard data to make the hard decisions about sustainability

Nicaragua ‘crisis’ still cause for concern amid murder, torture allegations: Bachelet

Trump: Hostile to Europe, voids Tillerson’s “ironclad” ally pledge

Businesses, governments and consumers to implement a more climate-friendly approach to #BeatPlasticPollution on World Environment Day 2018

Right2Water initiative: Is the Commission ready to listen to citizens?

Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate deal is bad for US business. Here’s why.

3 natural mysteries that could be explained by quantum physics

The winds of change: 5 charts on the future of offshore power

Millions of Bangladeshi children at risk from climate crisis, warns UNICEF

COVID-19 and the importance of scientific credibility in decreasing the number of cases

Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct of Amazon

Plastic is a global problem. It’s also a global opportunity

NASA is recruiting new astronauts – this is what it takes to apply

Why it’s time to celebrate migrants

Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works

The Pegasus Project awarded the 2021 Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism

Detecting online child sexual abuse requires strong safeguards

Sexual reproductive health rights SRHR and ending HIV: can one be achieved without the other?

Greenhouse gas emissions have already peaked in 30 major cities

Transparency, EU values, and pluralism: new rules for European political parties

Central Asia bloc has important role in ‘peace, stability and prosperity’ beyond region, says Deputy UN chief

Greater transparency, fairer prices for medicines ‘a global human rights issue’, says UN health agency

It’s time to end our ‘separate but unequal’ approach to mental health

How smart tech helps cities fight terrorism and crime

EU and Mercosur reach agreement on trade

UN committed to helping Haiti build better future, says Guterres, marking 10-year anniversary of devastating earthquake

Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to O2 CZ, CETIN and T-Mobile CZ for their network sharing agreement

5 things to know about the exploding world of pro gaming

World Food Programme accesses Yemeni frontline district for first time since conflict began

UN chief calls for ‘immediate end’ to escalation of fighting in southwestern Syria, as thousands are displaced

The world’s food waste problem is bigger than we thought – here’s what we can do about it

A Sting Exclusive: “Seize the opportunity offered by Africa’s continental free trade area”, written by the Director General of UNIDO

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: