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World News

LIVE: World leaders pledge to power humanity with clean energy

How can the world come together to radically change the way it produces and uses energy, as part of efforts to hold back climate change and to ultimately give humanity a more secure future on planet earth? That’s the question that over one hundred countries, organizations and businesses will be discussing at the United Nations on Friday at the High-level Dialogue on Energy, the first meeting of its kind in 40 years.

UN chief: Window to avert devasting climate impacts ‘rapidly closing’

No region is immune to climate disasters the UN chief told the Security Council on Thursday, warning that “our window of opportunity” to prevent the worst climate impacts is “rapidly closing”.

World’s two largest economies commit to climate action – Guterres

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday welcomed important commitments made towards climate action by the world’s two largest economies, as the 76th High Level Debate began in New York.

Call for ‘decisive action now’ to avoid climate catastrophe 

Speaking alongside the UK Prime Minister in New York on Monday the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, has called on world leaders for “decisive action now to avert climate catastrophe.” 

FROM THE FIELD: Haiti’s gruelling post-quake road to recovery

Thousands of Haitians continue to take refuge in neighbours’ houses, makeshift shelters, chapels or informal displacement sites, a month after a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the west of the Caribbean island where they live. That’s according to the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) which has been assisting in recovery efforts. 

Paris climate deal could go up in smoke without action: Guterres

Unless wealthy nations commit to tackling emissions now, the world is on a “catastrophic pathway” to 2.7-degrees of heating by the end of the century, UN Secretary General António Guterres warned on Friday.

Counting on youth, for an ‘equitable and sustainable world for all’

At a virtual event on Friday commemorating the International Day of Peace, the UN chief saluted the “voices, vision and commitment of young people in shaping a more peaceful world”.

Act now to slow climate change and protect the planet, urges UN chief

The ozone layer – a fragile shield of gas that protects the Earth from the harmful rays of the sun – is “on the road to recovery”, the UN chief said on Thursday in his message for the World Ozone Day.

‘Tipping point’ for climate action: Time’s running out to avoid catastrophic heating

The temporary reduction in carbon emissions caused by global COVID-19 lockdowns did not slow the relentless advance of climate change. Greenhouse gas concentrations are at record levels, and the planet is on path towards dangerous overheating, a multi-agency climate report published on Thursday warns. 

Eating wild meat significantly increases zoonotic disease risk: UN report 

The domestic consumption of meat from wild animals has significant impacts on most species protected under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), says a new report released on Wednesday, including increasing the risk of diseases spreading from animals to humans.  

Most agricultural funding distorts prices, harms environment: UN report 

Around 87% of the $540 billion in total annual government support given worldwide to agricultural producers includes measures that are price distorting and that can be harmful to nature and health.  

Climate action: Guterres hails Latin American and Caribbean leadership 

The UN chief on Wednesday commended the leadership of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on climate action. 

From locusts to cyclones: The human cost of interlinked disasters

Many extreme environmental events have a devastating effect on people’s lives, and a new UN report reveals that many of them are linked by the same underlying causes. On the day the study is released, we look at the impact of a locust swarm on a Kenyan farmer, and the ways that Cyclone Amphan affected an Indian worker.

Human activity the common link between disasters around the world

Disasters such as cyclones, floods, and droughts are more connected than we might think, and human activity is the common thread, a UN report released on Wednesday reveals.

Blue sky thinking: 5 things to know about air pollution

Around 90 per cent of people go through their daily lives breathing harmful polluted air, which has been described by the United Nations as the most important health issue of our time. To mark the first International Day of Clean Air for blue skies, on 7 September, UN News explains how bad it is and what is being done to tackle it.

Drop coal or climate change will ‘wreak havoc’ across Australian economy

Climate change will “wreak havoc” across the Australian economy if coal is not rapidly phased out, a senior UN official warned on Monday. 

Climate action essential to cool ‘season of fire and floods’ worldwide: Deputy UN chief 

With extreme weather events increasingly impacting countries across the world, the deputy UN chief on Monday underlined the importance of limiting temperature rise to the internationally agreed goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. 

Air quality improvements from COVID lockdowns confirmed

COVID-19 lockdowns brought rapid and “unprecedented” improvements in air quality in some parts of the world - but not enough to halt climate change caused by global warming, UN weather experts said on Friday.

Improving air quality ‘key’ to confronting global environmental crises

With environmental events becoming increasingly interconnected, a new global report on air pollution published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) on Thursday underscores that improved air quality is “key to tackling the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste”.

Climate and weather related disasters surge five-fold over 50 years, but early warnings save lives - WMO report

Climate change and increasingly extreme weather events, have caused a surge in natural disasters over the past 50 years disproportionately impacting poorer countries, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) said on Wednesday.

End of leaded fuel use a ‘milestone for multilateralism’

The global phase-out of leaded fuel represents a “milestone for multilateralism”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday, marking the end of a 20-year campaign to eliminate a major threat to the health of people and the planet.

Secretary-General calls for bold action to end biodiversity crisis

With one million species at risk of extinction, UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday called for greater leadership and political will to end the biodiversity crisis.

The ‘energy patriots’ bringing electricity to Indonesia’s remote villages

For millions of villagers in Indonesia’s remote areas, a 12-hour-per-day erratic electricity supply is the norm. With students studying by candlelight at night and health centres not running at full capacity, these communities face an uphill struggle to improve their well-being. 

Climate solutions, changemakers, and celebrities: major UN podcast series launched

The UN launches No Denying It, a new 10-part climate action podcast, on Thursday, featuring interviews with inspiring young activists, and the voices of internationally renowned celebrities, such as actors Ed Norton and Michelle Yeoh.

COVID, natural hazards and climate crisis in Asia and the Pacific expand ‘riskcape’

The convergence of the COVID-19 pandemic with natural hazards, made worse by climate change, has reshaped and expanded the disaster “riskscape” in Asia and the Pacific, according to a new report published on Wednesday by the UN’s regional commission there.

FROM THE FIELD: Extinguishing the practice of crop burning

Around the world, people are preparing to choke their way through what is called ‘the season of smog’, when farmers burn their fields to make way for new crops. 

Climate change and hunger in Madagascar: a UN Resident Coordinator blog

In the south of Madagascar, known as the Grand Sud, hundreds of thousands of people are suffering from one of the worst droughts in the region in 40 years, the most senior UN official in the country has said, warning that the population is facing a severe humanitarian crisis.

Race is on to limit extreme weather impact on most vulnerable: Guterres  

As the global aid community marked World Humanitarian Day on Thursday, UN chief António Guterres paid tribute to all those who help people in need and urged support for the day’s #TheHumanRace campaign, which aims to protect the most vulnerable people from the climate emergency.  

Minorities are 'key partners' in saving planet's biodiversity – UN expert

The global initiative to save the planet's biodiversity on land and water must not be allowed to threaten the world's most vulnerable people, a top human rights expert said on Thursday. 

UN weather agency: millions affected by climate change and extreme weather in Latin America and Caribbean

Climate-related and geophysical events resulted in the loss of 312,000 lives and directly affected more than 277 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean, a new report released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) revealed on Tuesday.

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