Need for urgency on climate change

Need for urgency on climate change

There have been some alarming developments when it comes to extreme weather events. Ice sheets at the Arctic seem to be melting much faster than previously thought. Beijing has experienced the heaviest rainfall since 1951. The United States had the hottest July in recorded history. Clearly, alarm bells should be ringing about the health of our planet and its climate.

As the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar, approaches, we need to break the stalemate in global negotiations. Internationally binding agreements are needed to tackle the threat of climate change.

Recently, a meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Thailand did bring some progress. Though some people expressed concern over a lack of concrete results at the Bangkok conference, optimists believe it marked a step forward in the right direction.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said: "There are still some tough political decisions ahead, but we now have a positive momentum and a greater sense of convergence that will stimulate higher-level political discussions ahead of Doha and set a faster pace of work once this year's conference begins."

That said, a much more ambitious approach is needed to tackle the current and projected state of environmental degradation. This should extend well beyond the set of specific objectives left behind from Durban for Doha. To cite the UN, we need to "trigger a new phase of greater climate action" and take "concrete steps to fill existing gaps in the international policy response to climate change".

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