2021 Year In Review: Climate Action, Or Blah, Blah, Blah?

This year saw another steady stream of UN-backed reports reinforcing a stark message: man-made climate change is an urgent and even existential threat to life on Earth.Several reports from UN agencies showed that greenhouse gas concentrations are at record levels, and that the planet is on a path towards dangerous overheating, with worrying repercussions likely for current and future generations. A key UN Environment report in November pointed out that even if countries were to turn the emissions tap off today, climate impacts would remain, for decades to come. Over the next two decades, governments are projecting an increase in global oil and gas production, and only a modest decrease in coal production. Taken together, these plans mean that fossil fuel production will increase overall, at least until 2040. With more than a million species at risk of extinction, UN chief António Guterres called on countries to work together to ensure a sustainable future for people and the planet, as the first part of the UN Biodiversity Conference opened in October. Also in October, 30 CEOs and senior business leaders of major companies, collectively worth some $16 trillion, attended a meeting of the Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) Alliance, to develop guidelines and products that align the existing finance and investment ecosystem, with the Sustainable Development Goals. The group is now creating funds that will create real life opportunities to finance the Goals. The centerpiece climate change event of the year was the COP26 UN Climate Conference, held in Glasgow in November. The final agreement of COP26 was not without heartbreak and drama.

By UN News. December 30, 2021.

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