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Heba Aly @HebaJournalist
, 16 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
My take-aways from one of the first formal gatherings of climate scientists and humanitarians in Geneva, in the wake of the @IPCC_CH report highlighting the human impacts of 2˚ of global warming. #StepUp2018 #SR15 #Talanoa4Ambition #ClimateRedi @UNFCCC 0/15
1/ Forget about coral reefs & polar bears. The difference between 1.5˚ and 2˚of warming is 60 million more people exposed to severe drought; millions more potentially exposed to flooding, 23% more of the world's population exposed to extreme heat. This stuff is real.
2/ For small-island states at risk of being wiped off the map, limiting warming to 1.5˚ was already "the ultimate compromise". "We knew that 1˚ would jeopardize our ability to live on these islands,” a Marshall Islands rep said. “Anything beyond 1.5 is simply uninhabitable.”
3/ Climate change is not just a menace of the future. It is happening now: 20-40% of the world’s population are already living in areas that have warmed by 1.5˚ or more at some point. People have already been displaced by drought and sea level rise in the hundreds of thousands.
4/ Even if Australian Environment Minister @Melissa4Durack & Deputy PM @M_McCormackMP rejected the @IPCC_CH's call to phase out coal (before having properly read the report), the integrity of climate science is no longer being disputed the way it used to be even a few years ago.
5/ There are no technical, administrative or even financial obstacles to limiting global warming to 1.5˚ instead of 2˚. What's lacking is political will. And perhaps a lack of acceptance in people’s consciousness of just how existential this threat is. #climatechange
6/ Some, like @CANIntl, are calling for a popular movement, to help parents understand that that investing in climate action is as important to their children's future as investing in education.
7/ Others like @UniofOxford's Myles Allen say we need to document the impacts of #climatechange on the most vulnerable, the same way we track CO2 emissions, "so that we know what it’s doing in different parts of the world". Some big players would rather those stories not be told.
8/ For @mkvaalst, humanitarians should be part of that advocacy effort. They should also push the international community to invest as much in helping vulnerable countries adapt to climate change ("adaptation") as it does in trying to limits its effects ("mitigation").
9/ The reality is that humanitarians have been responding to the effects of climate change for decades; "we just haven't framed it as such," says @ICRC VP @GCarbonnierICRC.
10/ But for the most part, humanitarians and scientists "don't speak the same language", and while they may understand the risks of climate change, humanitarians don't quite know what they should do about them.
11/ For one, they can better anticipate and plan for the effects of climate change. That's where forecast-based financing, used by @GermanyDiplo and the @Federation, among others, can play a role.
12/ Humanitarians could also examine the carbon footprint of their own aid operations. Here's how @President_Heine, president of the Marshall Islands & chair of @TheCVF, is doing things differently: she's gathering heads of state in a completely #VirtualClimateSummit next month.
13/ The impact of climate change in conflict-affected states is even more complicated. "Doubly vulnerable" people will struggle to access climate funds, either b/c their state is not able or willing to distribute such funds fairly or because the aeras in need are hard to access.
14/ Similar debates about supporting local initiatives & ensuring participation of affected people are taking place in both the climate action & humanitarian sectors. This may be one entry point through which they start more actively working together to help the most vulnerable.
Watch some of the discussions I chaired at the dialogue here:… and follow @irinnews for reporting on the human face of climate change:… 15/15
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