first_imgImagine an island nation evacuating its entire population to another country.The world stares at such a situation if it does not take concrete action to combat climate change, a top UN official has warned.” Tuvalu, Maldives, Kiribati and Vanuatu are looking for ways to evacuate their entire population because of saltwater intrusion and rising sea levels,” Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said.She was addressing environment ministers from around the globe at the ongoing climate conference in Cancun.Figueres said: ” Sooner rather than later, island nations will have to seek refuge in other, higher lying countries.” The fate of these nations is a wake- up call for all nations, she added.The UN official cited the examples of floods in Pakistan, wildfires in Russia and the hottest summer in Japan to drive home the point that ” there will be worse impacts, and no country will be exempt”. Progress in climate change can be achieved only when countries move beyond ” the boundaries of short- term national interests” to put ” international climate policy firmly back on track”, Figueres said in an oblique reference to the near- deadlock in talks at Cancun.Addressing journalists after the session, UN secretary general Ban Ki- moon said: ” Nature is not waiting while we negotiate.” The big question, according to him, is how the world is going to meet the needs of nine billion people in 2050 and still reduce emissions by 50 per cent or more.He said he did not expect governments to reach an all- encompassing global agreement at Cancun, but progress needs to be made on financing, adaptation, technology transfer and forestry.advertisementA report released by the UN Environment Programme had identified gaps in carbon emission reductions. Global emissions should be around 44 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 10 years in order to keep global temperature rise below two degrees in another 30 years. The report says even if all the pledges made at the Copenhagen conference are met, the emissions might hit 49 gigatonnes. This would leave a gap of 5 gigatonnes that needs to be filled by greater action to reduce emissions.SUV GIANT HONOURS JAIRAMThe irony could not have been starker – a green award sponsored by an auto company known for its sports utility vehicles ( SUVs) for an environment minister critical of SUVs.Jairam Ramesh accepted NDTV Toyota Greenies Award 2010 during an award ceremony held in Delhi, joining the event through a live link.He was chosen for the special jury award and he had no hesitation in accepting the award sponsored by SUV maker Toyota, while speaking from Cancun where he is leading the Indian delegation in the ongoing climate change talks. President Pratibha Patil gave away the awards.Vikram Chandra, who hosted the show along with Priyanka Chopra, said: ” The jury felt that the minister has done extraordinary work to bring environment into the mainstream. He has often been a pain in the neck for other ministers, but I guess it is his job to do that.” In his acceptance speech, Ramesh said ” I am just doing my job and implementing the laws that Parliament has passed.”last_img

Climate change will sink island nations

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