UN builds pressure for climate action

There’ve been more ominous signs from the UN’s climate change group, just a week before 180 countries gather to discuss how to slow the environmental onslaught.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released a report saying immediate action should be taken to deal with rising temperatures across the globe.

Greenhouse gases are listed among the worst polluters. The Nobel Peace Prize winning organisation of scientists says if nothing is done immediately millions of people around the world could bear the brunt of more heat waves, melting glaciers, and rising sea levels.

“The numbers affected and killed by natural disasters have increased dramatically over the next 30 years. If we just assume this trend will continue on a linear basis that will be devastating consequences in terms of people hit by cyclones, hurricanes and drought events,” said Claes Johansson, United Nations Development Programme.

UN officials say this global threat has the potential to produce extreme setbacks for least developed countries like Haiti and Bangladesh, where the poorest will suffer the greatest burden.

Meanwhile, in Russia some experts say the ripple effect of climate change is underway. And the effects of a warmer planet will last decades.

“Our summer will be wet. But the most negative effect is expected in the southern part of Russia – it is the south of European part of Russia, northern Caucasus, the lower Volga and southern Siberia. Scientists predict 25 % decrease of agriculture productivity,” said Aleksey Kokorin, the head of the WWF Climate Change Programme in Russia.

But not everyone believes global warming is a global threat. Some ecologist say Russia would benefit from rising temperatures.

“Russia is a country with a cold climate. Thirty percent of our energy resources are spent on housing and utilities, and once winter becomes milder, especially in Siberia, these expenses will diminish,” said Vladimir Anikeev, from the Independent Ecological Survey.