As reports of new temperature extremes exceeding the 50°C mark continue to come in, further climate change-related concerns have been voiced by the UN community.
The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) has expressed concern over a potential rise in deaths precipitated by heat.
The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank have cautioned that children and the world's poor are among those disproportionately affected by climate change.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and others have emphasized climate change impacts on food security.
On the policy side, the Adaptation Committee (AC) and the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Expert Group (LEG) have issued a call for submissions from Parties and stakeholders on their Paris mandates.
8 August 2016: As reports of new temperature extremes exceeding the 50°C mark continue to come in, further climate change-related concerns have been voiced by the UN community. The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) has expressed concern over a potential rise in deaths precipitated by heat. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank have cautioned that children and the world’s poor are among those disproportionately affected by climate change. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and others have emphasized climate change impacts on food security. On the policy side, the Adaptation Committee (AC) and the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Expert Group (LEG) have issued a call for submissions from Parties and stakeholders on their Paris mandates.
These and other recent developments reported here have contributed to the implementation of a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including, in particular, SDGs 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts), 1 (End poverty in all its forms everywhere), 2 (End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture) and 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages).
Rising Temperatures to Increase Heat-Related Deaths
As heatwaves enveloped large parts of the Middle East and North Africa, unusually high temperatures were reported for the region. On 21 July 2016, Mitrabah, Kuwait, reported record-breaking 54°C, and, on 22 July 2016, the temperature of 53.9°C was recorded in the city of Basra, Iraq.
A World Meteorological Organization (WMO) committee will examine whether the temperatures registered in Mitrabah set the new record for the Eastern hemisphere and Asia. [WMO Press Release] [UN Press Release]
In light of the recent reports of unprecedented heat, the UNISDR warned of a possible spike in heatwave-related deaths. UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk reduction (DRR) and Head of UNISDR Robert Glasser emphasized the role of climate change in amplifying the impact of extreme weather events, such as heatwaves. “Millions of people around the world should be receiving heat-related warnings and advisories if we are to avoid a repeat of the thousands of deaths which occurred last year from heatwaves, notably in Asia and Europe,” he said. [UNISDR Press Release] [UN Press Release]
Climate and weather extremes were among the main issues addressed in the ‘State of the Climate in 2015’ report edited by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). As part of the report, NOAA NCEI published an interactive map of extreme climate and weather events. [NOAA NCEI Interactive Map] [State of the Climate in 2015]
Children and the Poor Most Vulnerable to Climate Change Impacts
Several publications addressed how extreme weather events and disasters are disproportionately affecting children and the poor.
According to the UNICEF 2015 Annual Report, poor and disadvantaged children were disproportionately affected by climate change-related disasters in 2015, particularly in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. [UNICEF 2015 Annual Report] [UNICEF 2015 Annual Report Landing Page] [UNFCCC Press Release]
A World Bank publication highlighted the exposure of poor people in Viet Nam to current and future flooding, using high-resolution flood hazard maps and spatial socioeconomic data. [Exposure to Floods, Climate Change, and Poverty in Vietnam] [Publication Landing Page]
Another study by the World Bank examined the impacts of climate change on poverty in Viet Nam. [Modeling the Impacts of Climate Change on Future Vietnamese Households: A Micro-Simulation Approach] [Publication Landing Page]
Climate Change Threatens Food Security
According to a report by FAO, ECLAC and the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI), climate change is expected to have major impacts on crop yields, local economies and food security in Northeastern Brazil, Central America and parts of the Andean region due to the region’s dependence on agriculture and the low adaptive capacity of its population. [Food and Nutrition Security and the Eradication of Hunger CELAC 2025: Furthering Discussion and Regional Cooperation] [Publication Landing Page] [ECLAC Press Release]
The ‘Food Security Forum: Safe, Nutritious, and Affordable Food for All,’ convened by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila, the Philippines, from 22-24 June 2016, highlighted the role of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) in achieving food security in the face of climate change and extreme weather events. [ADB Forum Webpage] [World Agroforestry Centre Press Release Part I] [World Agroforestry Centre Press Release Part II]
ICLEI Launches Forum for SIDS
ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability launched a Community for Towns, Cities and Provinces of Small Island States to ensure that the small island developing States (SIDS) community has a voice in shaping ICLEI’s global strategies and that island leaders are able to gain access to information, support tools and instruments, exchange experience and expertise, and collaborate in developing resilience-building projects and securing funding. [ICLEI Press Release]
Adaptation Committee, LEG Seek Input on Paris Mandates
The AC and LEG sought to receive from UNFCCC Parties and stakeholders technical information based, where possible, on practical experience to assist them in fulfilling the mandates provided to them by the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC. The deadline for submissions is 30 September 2016.
During an informal joint meeting held by the AC and LEG in Bonn, Germany, on 27 May 2016, to discuss an approach for responding to their Paris mandates, the AC and LEG agreed, among other things, to seek input from Parties and stakeholders. It is expected that information gathered as a result will enable the AC and LEG to develop a set of options for consideration by Parties. [Call for Submissions to Parties and Stakeholders on AC and LEG Mandates Stemming from Decision 1/CP.21] [Decision 1/CP. 21 Adopting Paris Agreement] [IISD RS Adaptation and Loss and Damage Update on SB 44 Outcomes]