Since I was a kid, I grew up with adventures and stories of famous characters of the books of Jack London: White Fang, Make a Fire… and the incredible ode to perseverance of Martin Eden.
There was only one topic on everyone’s lips at Davos this year – climate change
. The headlines focused on the cold war between Greta Thunberg and Donald Trump, but there was much greater consensus among those gathered for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Economic activity in Latin America and the Caribbean stagnated in 2019, continuing with the weak growth momentum of the previous five years and adding more urgency and new challenges to reignite growth.
Increasingly, the ability of multilateralism to address contemporary global issues such as climate change and international trade is being questioned. In the case of international trade, WTO Members have thus far not been able to conclude the Doha Round, which was launched in November 2001. The Round was supposed to have been concluded on 1 January 2005, but it has been beset by persistent differences among the WTO Members. Whereas most developing countries believe that the Round is still active and have called for the fulfilment of all Doha mandates, several developed countries are of the view that the Round has run its full course and overtaken by developments in the global economy. They note that three out of the ten top economies in the world are developing countries – Brazil, China and India – and that several developing economies are also competitive in certain sectors of the global economy and that by granting significant flexibilities in the negotiations to these competitive developing economies, the Round's mandates are no longer valid and that differentiation among developing countries should be part of the broader on-going discussion on WTO reform.
With 95 per cent of the ocean still unexplored by humans, we are only just beginning to understand its profound influence on life on earth, including its effect on global climate and ecosystems.
For the first time, the world’s elites meeting this year at Davos have listed environmental issues as their top concerns about the next decade.
As global temperatures continue to rise, vulnerable populations around the world are facing increasingly complex climate risks
– with ongoing droughts in Zimbabwe
and floods devastating Indonesia's capital, Jakarta
Climate change is already a reality. Ever-more-ferocious cyclones and extended droughts lead to the destruction of infrastructure and the disruption of livelihoods and contribute to mass migration.
It is early Saturday morning and Planeta Hatuleke, a small scale farmer of Pemba District in Southern Zambia, awakens to the comforting sound of rainfall. As the locals say, the “heavens have opened” and it is raining heavily after a prolonged dry spell.
United Nations World Food Program recently released 2020 Global Hotspots Report
. According to the report, millions of citizens from Sub-Saharan African countries will face hunger in the first half of 2020 for several reasons including conflict, political instability and climate-related events such as below-average rainfall and flooding.
“Unprecedented.” “Hell on Earth.” “Catastrophic.”
In Australia, these terms are being used to describe 17.9 million acres of burned land so far. While fires of this magnitude are certainly unprecedented, they’re far from unexpected.
One of the highlight activities as the United Nations commemorates its 75th anniversary this year will be the launch of an “annual temperature check” on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), progress. With only ten years left to the final whistle for the Goals, this activity that will take place each September will provide a snapshot of what’s working, and where countries need more action.
Let’s face what lies ahead with open eyes: 2020 is going to be a very tough year for the world, and developing countries in particular. The infant decade has already begun with the harbingers of climate disaster as thousands fled to beaches in Australia from raging bush fires, and the Middle East braced for more conflict after a U.S. air strike in Baghdad killed Iran’s top general.
In a world shaken by so many problems, it is difficult to look at 2020 and not make some kind of holistic analysis. While enormous progress has been made on many fronts, it is clear that the tide has turned, and we are now entering – or have already entered – a new low point in the history of humankind..
Happy New Year, Kenya. 2020 marks a decade of action towards the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Peace and development are inextricably linked, with each making the achievement of the other far more likely. This puts the conflict-prevention and development work of the UN at the heart of the agenda in East Africa, but in a multi-agency and programme environment, making meaningful progress is challenging.
One of the main discussions at the COP25 climate change talks was Article 6
, which is designed to provide financial support to emerging economies and developing countries to help them reduce emissions by using global carbon markets. Carbon pricing is an essential piece of the puzzle to curb emissions. Without a value on carbon, there is less incentive to make positive changes, especially in the private sector. The most efficient way to carry this forward is to allow trading of carbon both nationally and internationally, which will ensure the lowest cost of mitigation for participants globally.
The social utility of billionaires’ existence has come under increased scrutiny, especially during the Democratic Party primaries for the 2020 US Presidential election. Leading newspapers, such as The New York Times, published opinion pieces arguing to abolish billionaires
and reflecting on why billionaires engage in illegal insider trading
Millions of people, particularly in Africa, who lose their property, homes, and even die due to climate-related disasters will have to wait at least another year for the international community to agree on a means of supporting them.
By any measure this has been a devastating year: fires across the Amazon, the Arctic and beyond; floods and drought in Africa; rising temperatures, carbon emissions and sea levels; accelerating loss of species, and mass forced migrations of people.
Women in Asia and Africa hardest hit by climate change
have a tough time adapting to the climate emergency, even with support from family or the state, finds a new study. The results raise questions for global agreements designed to help people adapt to the climate emergency
, it adds.