UN Climate Change Conference – Super-typhoon Haiyan

Environmental and climate change leaders from around the world are gathering this week in Poland in a call for action on the growing problems of global warming and climate change.  The recent catastrophe in the Philippines caused by supertyphoon Haiyan has once again amplified the need for broad sweeping actions by world leaders.


The supertyphoon is one more example of how climate change is affecting the frequency and intensity of severe weather.  In just the past year we have seen rapid desertification in the Southwestern United States, Africa, and Australia, Superstorm Sandy in the Northeastern United States knock out millions of people’s power, the largest tornado on record, and now one of the largest typhoons in history.


As the evidence and effects of climate change continue to mount, world leaders will now attempt to address this global issue.  No corner of the earth remains unaffected by climate change and action must be swift to avoid a future in which historic destruction caused by record-breaking super storms is a regularity.


Representatives at the conference in Poland clearly recognize the global nature of this problem.  Humanity stands together on the brink, and changes must be made by all, and for all.  However, many of the effects we have witnessed have stemmed from past emissions, and may only be reduced by drastic cuts in carbon emissions.  The logistical complexity of such action increases the importance of climate adaptation in many of the most affected countries.


Moving forward, a primary question that must be answered at the conference is: Who will pay for the climate adaptation measures that must be taken by developing nations?  It is widely known that most of the carbon currently causing global warming was emitted by developed nations. Since atmospheric carbon causes global effects, developing nations also feel the changes is climate and storm intensity brought on by the emissions of their wealthier and more industrialized counter parts. The issue intensifies with the fact that many developing nations are inadequately positioned financially to take action on climate mitigation and adaptation, meaning the worst affects will be felt by the least prepared.


The issue is likely to go either unsolved, or inadequately addressed at this, and many conferences to come.  A recent report shows that a rift may be developing between leaders of developed and developing countries.  With only two days left, leaders from developing countries walked out of a meeting in which they believed unsatisfactory progress was being made on compensation for climate impacts.  Only when we agree that we all suffer the consequences will we begin to realize the scale of changes that must be made.  Hope now lies with world leaders to take action before it is too late.

  • 24 Nov, 2013
  • Clean Energy Corp

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