‘We’re on a highway to climate hell,” U.N. Secretary-General says at COP27


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Grace Smith | November 8, 2022

United Nations secretary general António Guterres warned the world at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference on Nov. 7 that the world is headed to a “highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator.” The COP27 Summit began on Sunday, Nov. 6, and world speakers addressed climate issues and gave speeches in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt.

The climate conversations are the 27th of the Conference of Parties to the U.N. convention. Over 44,000 gov. Representatives, business groups, and civil society groups are registered to attend the conference.

Guterres’ speech about the state of the world’s climate began after talking about a release of World Meteorological Organization (WMO) data on Sunday stating that the world has most likely witnessed the warmest eight years on record. According to the data, the rate of sea-level rise has doubled since 1993, and the past two-and-a-half-years have accounted for 10 percent of sea-level rise in the past 30 years.

“The greater the warming, the worse the impacts. We have such high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now that the lower 1.5°C of the Paris Agreement is barely within reach,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof Petteri Taalas. “All too often, those least responsible for climate change suffer most – as we have seen with the terrible flooding in Pakistan and deadly, long-running drought in the Horn of Africa. But even well-prepared societies this year have been ravaged by extremes – as seen by the protracted heatwaves and drought in large parts of Europe and southern China.” 

At this year’s COP27 summit, “funding arrangements” for vulnerable countries are on the agenda. Guterres spoke Monday strongly urging attendees at the summit to help vulnerable countries like Pakistan. An estimate between $290 billion to $580 billion is required for countries per year by 2030.

Europe’s climate is warming twice as fast as the global average


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Grace Smith | November 4, 2022

Temperatures in Europe have increased more than twice the global average rate in the last 30 years, per a report by the World Meteorological Organization. From 1991 to 2021, Europe increased an average of 0.5 degrees Celsius every decade. Earth has warmed 0.18 degrees Celsius per decade since 1981. 

Europe’s summer months this year brought record-breaking high temperatures and hot days, reaching 0.4 degrees Celsius above last year. In addition, the results of continuous warming in Europe melted about 38 feet of the Alpine glaciers and continue melting Greenland’s ice sheets, raising the sea level. 

“Europe presents a live picture of a warming world and reminds us that even well-prepared societies are not safe from impacts of extreme weather events,” WMO secretary-general, Prof Petteri Taalas, said. “This year, like 2021, large parts of Europe have been affected by extensive heatwaves and drought, fueling wildfires. In 2021, exceptional floods caused death and devastation.”

Reasons why Europe is warming more than other areas of the world include high land mass in Europe, as well as the Arctic and high northern latitudes which are the fasted global warming regions. To decrease climate change effects, the European Union decreased greenhouse gas emissions by 31 percent since 1990 and aims to decrease them by 55 percent by 2030.