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UN Envoy Praises India’s Green Economic Mastery

Solheim believes the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss have led to a rapidly growing focus on forest conservation and restoration….reports Vishal Gulati

India showcases that “you can go green and provide fast economic growth at the same time”, feels former UN Environment Programme executive director Erik Solheim.

In a telephonic interview as countries gear up to take stock of the progress on decarbonization, loss and damage finance, and more at the upcoming UN COP28 climate summit in Dubai, Solheim said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharat has moved to the forefront of the struggle against climate change and environment protection.

“Modiji has launched numerous green missions for India — focusing on green hydrogen, green batteries, electric cars and more. The number of tigers in India has doubled over the last two decades. India showcases that you can go green and provide fast economic growth at the same time.”

Solheim, an experienced peace negotiator having acted as the main facilitator of the peace process in Sri Lanka from 1998 to 2005, emphasises the critical role that nature and biodiversity play in aiding mitigation and adaptation to the global crises.

New Delhi, Nov 17 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually addresses the concluding session of the 2nd Voice of the Global South Summit, in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI Photo)

“Restoring nature is absolutely central to our climate efforts. Green landscapes protect us against climate disasters and absorb emissions. China is the world’s biggest tree planting nation. But there is huge progress in India also.”

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is planting one tree every day to inspire the people in his state. Telangana has increased its tree cover by seven per cent. Tamil Nadu is progressing fast, creating new protected areas.

Solheim believes the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss have led to a rapidly growing focus on forest conservation and restoration.

“We need to mobilize both governments and business. Indonesia last year saw zero deforestation, a fantastic result in the world’s second biggest rainforest nation.”

This is thanks to good laws by the government as well as strong action from the big private sector companies in paper and palm oil, businesses like RGE, one of the world’s largest producers of wood pulp.

The former Norwegian diplomat and politician who played a crucial role in convincing India to phase out single-use plastics said smallholdings farmers are on the frontlines of climate change.

“Carbon finance and the carbon market need to reach small-scale farmers. This can only happen if the farmers form associations to jointly approach the big institutions. Andhra Pradesh is a great example of a state which has prioritized small-scale, green and eco-friendly farming.”

Solheim, who was Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme between May 2016 and November 2018, believes the current representation of nature in the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP28 agenda is sufficient.

“We need to bring the agendas of protecting mother earth and fighting pollution and emissions closer together. That will also create more engagement and inspiration.”

In the previous COPs there was inadequate climate and nature finance for developing countries, especially those whose ecosystems are most critical for climate.

“The developed world needs to step up and provide the finance they have promised. The US emission per capita up to now is 25 times higher than India’s. It’s obvious that the responsibility for causing the climate crisis rests with North America and Europe and other developed nations. At the same time, the developing nations who act like China and India are those most likely to be successful.

“They see climate as an opportunity to capture markets and create prosperity, bringing people out of poverty by going green. Indian company Ola has a slogan, “I love Tesla for the West, Ola for the Rest”.

According to Solheim, indigenous and local communities are the best protectors of nature and must be at the centre of any conservation model.

“I think Brazil is a good example in this regard. After President Lula came to power less than a year ago, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has been reduced by 60 per cent. This is because Lula empowers indigenous people to protect their land. When indigenous tribes can work with the state, it creates a very powerful combination.”

The COP28, under the UAE presidency, will be a milestone moment when the world will take stock of its progress on the Paris Agreement.

The first Global Stocktake will provide a comprehensive assessment of progress since adopting the Paris Agreement.

This will help align the efforts on climate action, including measures that need to be put in place to bridge the gaps in progress.

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COP28 Chief Urges Enhanced Adaptation Finance

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber’s remarks came during the third Climate and Development Ministerial, which was convened at Pre-COP, and co-hosted by the United Kingdom, Vanuatu and Malawi….reports Asian Lite News

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President, has called for greater efforts to tackle adaptation finance gaps and prioritise actions to make climate finance more accessible to vulnerable nations.

His remarks came during the third Climate and Development Ministerial, which was convened at Pre-COP, and co-hosted by the United Kingdom, Vanuatu and Malawi.

“People and the planet lie at the heart of the climate process- which is focused on protecting lives, livelihoods and nature,” Dr Sultan said.

Addressing delegates, Dr. Sultan said, “To guarantee an inclusive and equitable transition to low-carbon and resilient growth, the voices of emerging and developing countries must not go unheard. COP28 must leverage an adequate response to the Global Stocktake and set out a pathway to fill the financing gaps and address shortcomings in the global climate finance architecture.”

Co-hosts the United Kingdom stressed the need to support the most vulnerable. Graham Stuart, UK Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, said, “The UK is determined to deliver on its ambitious climate commitments while supporting those most at risk from the impacts of climate change – represented by our $2 billion contribution to the Green Climate Fund earlier this year.

“These pre-COP discussions are key to shaping the agenda for COP28. Together with our international partners, we will delve into the challenges and opportunities involved in our mission to reduce CO2 and help the most vulnerable countries adapt to climate change. We’ll hear different perspectives on the global effort to keep 1.5°C within reach and encourage every nation to join the UK on a pathway to net zero.”

The importance of the Ministerial was highlighted by the Vanuatu Minister of Climate Change Adaptation, Energy, Environment, Meteorology, Geohazards and Disasters Management, Hon. Ralph Regenvanu. He said, “As we gather today, the people of Vanuatu are right now facing a landscape destroyed by Cyclone Lola that hit just days ago. Climate impacts are growing daily in the Pacific Islands as the cause of the crisis continues unabated.”

“Adaptation and resilience initiatives are a last line of defence, literally saving lives in Vanuatu, by minimising the impacts of the worsening climate crisis. Yet, Small Island Developing States struggle to access the funding we need to support the adaptation plans and programs that are so desperately required in our island communities. We stand side-by-side with our co-hosts to ensure the 2023 Climate and Development Ministerial delivers real change. We call on all countries and institutes to bring transformative ambition to this process.”

This view was backed up by the Malawi Minister for Natural Resources and Climate Change, Hon. Dr. Michael Usi. He said, “Least Developed Countries are among the world’s most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change, yet have done the least to contribute to the problem.”

“For years we have been calling for improved access and delivery of Climate finance, and more at the local level. This will enable local communities and countries to adapt to climate change and build resilience. We are proud to co-host the Climate and Development Ministerial process this year to drive forward the transformational shift we need in the delivery of the climate finance.”

At the Ministerial – which was started in 2021 to unite and lend support to climate vulnerable countries – Dr. Al Jaber emphasised that dealing with adaptation finance is a fundamental aspect of climate finance reform. Finance, he said, needs to be affordable, available and accessible. It is also one of the four pillars of the COP28 Presidency’s Action Agenda, alongside fast tracking the energy transition, nature, lives and livelihood, and inclusivity.

Dr. Al Jaber said the COP28 Presidency is also working on improving conditions for the most vulnerable countries by reallocating and channelling Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), a financial instrument allocated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to the Resilience and Sustainability Trust to address debt sustainability and create fiscal space for resilience investment.

He also highlighted the efforts made by the UAE, including the recent pledge of US$4.5 billion to support clean energy initiatives at the Africa Climate Summit, with the aim of promoting green growth on the continent.

“We are working on all fronts. But we do not have all the answers and there is much to be done,” he said.

Later during the day, in his closing remarks, he commended the countries and institutions nominated to co-lead the delivery of the Vision and Actions for Adaptation Finance, considering it an important milestone ahead of COP28 to prioritise the countries most vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

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‘Women at the Forefront of Climate Change’s Impact’

Under a worst-case climate scenario by mid-century, up to 158.3 million more women and girls could be driven into poverty globally, surpassing the number of men and boys affected by 16 million….reports Asian Lite News

If unchecked, climate change will significantly increase women’s vulnerability to poverty and hunger, undermining hard-won development gains, according to a UN report.

“Globally, by mid-century, under a worst-case climate scenario, climate change may push up to 158.3 million more women and girls into poverty (16 million more than the total number of men and boys). Food insecurity is projected to increase by as much as 236 million more women and girls, compared to 131 million more men and boys,” said the “Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals:

The gender snapshot 2023″, the latest edition in the annual series produced by United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), and launched in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

”Investments in a comprehensive SDG stimulus package would help to mitigate this effect, reducing the number of women falling into extreme poverty from 158.3 million to 43.3 million. But the impact will still be less than what could be achieved if the world abates climate change now, before it gets exponentially worse.

A recent review of national climate action plans, known as nationally determined contributions, found that only 55 have specific climate adaptation measures referring to gender equality and only 23 recognize women as agents of change in accelerating progress on climate commitments. Multi-sectoral plans and efforts to respond to climate change must prioritize women and girls most at risk.

A lot more is also needed in the areas of conservation, disaster preparedness, adaptation and resilience, including expanding women’s access to quality health, education, economic opportunities and information,” the report noted.

“Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot 2023” presents the latest evidence on gender equality across all 17 Goals, including prevailing trends and gaps on the road to 2030. The report calls for an integrated and holistic approach to advancing gender equality, including via greater multistakeholder collaboration and targeted and sustained funding in support of the gender equality agenda. Failure to scale up and invest in gender equality now will place the entire 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in peril. (ANI/WAM)

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India to join global climate efforts for aviation in 2027

This was announced at a meeting of the Parliament’s Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Civil Aviation chaired by Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, reports Asian Lite News

India will start participating in the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and the Long-Term Aspirational Goals (LTAG) from 2027.

This was announced at a meeting of the Parliament’s Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Civil Aviation held in New Delhi yesterday. The meeting was chaired by the Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia. The ICAO has been tasked to reduce carbon emissions from international civil aviation as one of its focus areas. In order to mitigate carbon emissions from aviation and its impact on climate change, the global body has adopted several key aspirational goals.

Among them are a two per cent annual fuel efficiency improvement through 2050, carbon neutral growth and net zero by 2050. The ICAO has clubbed them under CORSIA and LTAG.

The former is to be implemented in three phases. As the rationale for joining the ICAO’s climate action measures from 2027, the Indian Ministry said “this will enable airlines of developing countries like India to get time to grow more so that they do not face any adverse financial consequences due to CORSIA.”

Financial implications due to offsetting have to be borne by individual airlines, depending upon their international operations. CORSIA is applicable only to flights originating from one country to another.

India committed to net zero by 2070 at the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. (ANI/WAM)

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WB hopes renewed commitment to climate action at COP28

Belhaj said that the COP28 will provide a new impetus for the global system to implement commitments to mitigate climate change issues….reports Asian Lite News

Ferid Belhaj, World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), has expressed the World Bank’s support for the UAE in hosting the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 28) from 30th November to 12th December 2023.

In a statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM) on the sidelines of his participation at the World Government Summit, Belhaj said that the COP28 will provide a new impetus for the global system to implement commitments to mitigate climate change issues.

He noted that climate change is one of the region’s main challenges, and the conference aims to reinforce global demands to meet the financing requirements necessary to confront climate change issues in the region, such as desertification, coastal erosion, and air pollution.

“We will see how to address these challenges during the COP28,” the World Bank Vice President added.

Belhaj stated that “COP26” witnessed a set of promises regarding pumping US$100 million annually, which Egypt called for its implementation during the “Implementation Summit” at COP27, while the COP28 will affirm these commitments and maintain hopes.

He highlighted the proactive role of the UAE in addressing climate change issues, as the country hosts the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The UAE has also launched a set of policies and initiatives to tackle climate change issues, the official pointed out.

Regarding growth levels in the Gulf region, Belhaj explained that the growth rate in the region was strong last year but is expected to decrease during the current and next years, which highlights the importance of openness, economic diversification and orientation towards new areas.

He reiterated that the UAE’s economic openness approach has helped it to maintain economic growth momentum thanks to economic diversification.

Asked about the most critical challenges facing the region, he said that in addition to climate change, the issue of debt is one of the most pressing challenges facing the region, as some countries have suffered from accumulated debt.

Belhaj also pointed out that the employment of young people is one of the region’s main challenges. “According to our studies, the number of young jobseekers in the region will reach 300 million,” he said, explaining the need to find a strong strategy based on several components, including education as a key pillar.

“This is something that the UAE has prioritised by focusing on education to develop it and improve its methods,” he continued.

Belhaj indicated the importance of adopting policies that support gender balance in the region, praising the UAE’s experience and efforts in establishing The UAE Gender Balance Council. Emirati women play an active role in the economy, education and society, the Wold Bank executive pointed out.

Regarding the World Bank’s role in facing the challenges in cooperation with the regional countries, he explained that the bank’s brief is advisory. There is constant communication with the UAE to exchange experiences, expertise and best practices, and discuss means to finding solutions to various issues facing the Middle East and North Africa region, Belhaj added.

In response to a question about the role of the World Bank in supporting countries facing food crises, Belhaj explained that the bank is involved in financing and importing foods such as wheat to some countries due to the current geopolitical conditions leading to supply-chain disruption.

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India-Australia cooperation on climate action

It has been previously acknowledged that, among other areas, India and Australia could also mutually benefit from a robust involvement in the climate action sphere…reports Asian Lite News

As the 27th Conference of Parties in Egypt comes to an end, it becomes all the more necessary to assess the status of bilateral and multilateral cooperation in climate action.

Positive and tangible action towards reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint have now become the need of the hour. The world is, at this point, witnessing the brunt of years of negligence of global warming to an unprecedented level. This realisation at the state and community level has brought the question of climate action to the forefront once again.

With summits like COP27 criticised for being inconclusive, it becomes very important for states to engage in bilateral cooperation to develop the technical and legal infrastructure needed for a smooth transition to renewable energy sources, which is a significant step towards a reduction in carbon footprints.

The two powerful democracies of the Indo-Pacific, India and Australia have been diversifying their partnership to include issues of global concern and climate change must take priority in the list. The renewed interest in partnership over critical minerals for environment-friendly technological development is one aspect of it.

During the months ahead of the COP27, India has reiterated the commitments towards achieving the net zero target by 2070 and had also approved an updated plan to reduce the carbon emissions by 25 per cent by 2030. This is an important step forward in the bid to create a tangible action plan.

While the international negotiations over climate action are generally mired by the debate between the ‘developed’ and the ‘developing’, questioning the principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’, Australia has often found itself at the centre of this tightrope walk.

Its commitment, however, to reduce the carbon emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 shows that there is an increased awareness to contribute to the climate action framework. The fact that both India and Australia have set the same time frame for achieving their respective targets suggests the scope of cooperation in the process as well.

A budding partnership

It has been previously acknowledged that, among other areas, India and Australia could also mutually benefit from a robust involvement in the climate action sphere. It was last year that the two nations jointly agreed on partnership over low emissions technology as well as a low cost solar programme. This is likely to become an integral part of the overall economic ties that the two countries share.

Building on these commitments, a letter of intent was also signed earlier this year between the two countries to cooperate effectively on the development of new and renewable energy technology as a part of the fourth India-Australia Energy Dialogue.

The recently-signed Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) would further facilitate the sharing of low emissions technological resources, as well as the critical minerals that play an important part in transitioning towards a net zero target.

The need for increasing cooperation in climate action is highlighted best by Dr. Robert Glasser of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) says that “we assume a set pace of change for the future but the pace is increasing much more rapidly than people realise” while addressing the impacts of climate change.

Green Hydrogen

There is immense potential of cooperation between the two nations when it comes to the extraction, investments as well as research and developments of critical minerals like lithium, nickel as well as green hydrogen and other rare earth minerals. Australia has a vast reservoir of not just lithium but green hydrogen as well. India could tap on to the economic investments that the Australian state is willing to make on the commercial production of green hydrogen over the period.

Navigating the impact of climate change

Cooperation in terms of climate change need not always be in technology and research, it is a known fact that the global effects of climate change have also led to a humanitarian crisis.

The vast scale of displacements of communities triggered by the effects of climate change has led to the need for state level and international intervention in their rehabilitation. There needs to be developed a robust mechanism of aid for the communities and bilateral cooperation can become an important asset in this regard.

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Sharma to visit India for climate action

Sharma will travel to the International Solar Alliance (ISA) headquarters at the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) campus in Delhi…reports Asian Lite News

Cabinet minister and India-born Alok Sharma, who led the UN climate summit (COP26), will travel to India from July 21-22, it was announced on Wednesday.

He will also meet the local community to hear how climate change is impacting them directly.

The visit is an opportunity to again engage with India on climate policy as well as strengthen and support progress and delivery of the Glasgow Climate Pact, following COP26 in Glasgow and in the run up to India’s G20 Presidency.

On his third visit to the country as COP President, Alok Sharma will continue the work of the UK COP Presidency in pressing for updated climate commitments from all countries, as he meets with senior ministers and climate and energy leaders to discuss India’s ambitious climate plans and progress on smart grid upgrades, electric vehicles and affordable energy storage.

Sharma will travel to the International Solar Alliance (ISA) headquarters at the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) campus in Delhi.

There he will witness renewable energy generation in action, and discuss how to further advance the Green Grids Initiative — One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG), a product of UK-India partnership focused on strengthening global support for green power infrastructure.

While in Delhi Sharma will attend a joint launch of UK-India initiatives on electric mobility, hosted by the apex government of India think-tank NITI Aayog.

The partnership between the UK government and NITI Aayog has been instrumental in taking forward Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) initiatives launched under the UK’s COP26 Presidency.

He will visit the Centre for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) to hear an update on progress since COP26 and discuss future plans.

As record heatwaves are recorded in India, Sharma will also meet the local community to hear how climate change is impacting them directly and understand how extreme heat affects their livelihoods in the city.

Sharma, the COP26 President said: “India’s green transition is gathering pace, with an increasing slate of renewables and commitments to phase down fossil fuel based energy. I have previously commended India on its emissions reduction targets and truly believe that delivery of its commitments will have a major positive impact.

“The UK continues to stand side-by-side with India as it progresses to a low carbon, self-sufficient future. At this critical juncture ahead of COP27 and the NDC Synthesis Report deadline, I am eager to explore how the UK can further support India in translating its COP26 commitments into action.”

After his visit to India, the COP President will travel to Australia, then on to Fiji, to engage with governments, states, businesses and civil society in support for stronger climate action ahead of COP27 in Egypt, an official statement said.

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UAE President announces $50bn investment for climate action

The UAE President made the announcement on Friday as part of his participation in the Leaders Meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate…reports Asian Lite News

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, stated that the announcement made by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of plans to invest an additional US$50 billion to scale up climate action through the deployment of clean energy solutions at home and abroad is yet another milestone in the UAE’s long track record spanning close to three decades.

The UAE President made the announcement on Friday as part of his participation in the Leaders Meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate.

“Due to the future-oriented vision of its wise leadership, the UAE has joined the ranks of countries at the forefront of the fight against climate change. We have issued environmental protection laws and strategies and rolled out relevant initiatives. We have also adopted a proactive approach to promoting clean energy solutions as the sustainable, alternative energy sources of tomorrow,” Almheiri went on to explain.

She noted that in line with its steadfast commitment to climate action and the Paris Agreement, the UAE has introduced multiple roadmaps along the way that reaffirm its keenness to build a sustainable future for the next generations. These include the UAE Hydrogen Leadership Roadmap that seeks to position the country as a leading producer and exporter of green and blue hydrogen in the pursuit of net zero, and the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, the first of its kind in the MENA region.

The Minister added, “Our country has repeatedly underscored its dedication to developing and implementing long-term strategies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and limiting global warming, as is evident in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). Today, as we gear up to host the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) next year, we remain determined to enhance environmental protection, advance government agendas, and boost the participation of the private sector through driving innovation and developing cutting-edge climate-smart technologies in the agriculture and food sectors to conserve natural resources.”

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UNEP, EU launch Methane Observatory to boost climate action

“Methane reductions must go hand in hand with actions to decarbonize the energy system to limit warming to 1.5 degree Celsuis, as called for in the Paris Agreement,” Andersen added…reports Asian Lite News.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Commission have launched an observatory to reduce emission of methane gas into the atmosphere.

UNEP said in a statement issued on the eve of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow that the launch of International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO) marked a significant milestone in efforts to green the planet.

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, said cutting down on methane emissions from the fossil fuel industry will help avert the worst impacts of climate change to livelihoods and vital ecosystems.

“Methane reductions must go hand in hand with actions to decarbonize the energy system to limit warming to 1.5 degree Celsuis, as called for in the Paris Agreement,” Andersen added.

According to UNEP, methane emission is responsible for about one quarter of the current global warming and when the gas is directly released into the atmosphere, it is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year time horizon, Xinhua news agency reported.

Nevertheless, since methane’s atmospheric lifespan is relatively short, robust measures to cut its emission would yield immediate results in terms of halting global warming and delivering air quality, says UNEP.

The launch of the observatory on Sunday will help improve accuracy and transparency in reporting the magnitude of its release into the atmosphere and the impact on global warming.

At the initial stages, the observatory will focus on methane emissions from the fossil fuel sector and later expand to cover agriculture and waste sectors, according to UNEP.

The observatory is expected to produce verified and accurate data on methane emissions in the fossil fuel sector to help inform mitigation efforts by governments and industry.

Hosted by UNEP, the International Methane Emissions Observatory will operate on a 100 million euros (about 115.6 million $) budget over five years, but it will not receive industry funding in order to maintain its impartiality.

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Sadiq Calls For Urgent Climate Action

The Mayor has launched a London-wide environment campaign to inspire all Londoners to take action on climate change, reports Asian Lite News

As UK is preparing for COP26 climate summit, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has warned time is running out to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and to tackle the climate emergency before it’s too late.  

During a keynote speech on Thursday, Sadiq spelt out why the climate emergency remains one of the biggest threats London and the world faces.

Average temperatures around the world, including in London, are already increasing. This summer, UK saw the impact of the climate emergency first-hand with soaring temperatures and flash floods in London.

Climate Vulnerability Mapping produced City Hall and Bloomberg Associates, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ pro-bono consultancy for cities, shows that six London boroughs are at particularly high risk from the effects of climate change, with most boroughs, particularly in inner London, showing at least some high risk.

The boroughs at particularly high risk, meaning that the risk of both flooding and overheating are very high, jeopardising lives and livelihoods are: Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Brent, Tower Hamlets, and Newham.

City Hall analysis has identified that a quarter of London’s rail stations, and 10 per cent of London’s rail network, are at high risk of flooding in the future if extreme temperatures and flooding get worse.

Also 1 in 5 of our schools are either totally or partially at risk of flooding and nearly half of the hospitals.

It also found that there are over 200,000 existing homes and workplaces in London that are at either high or medium risk of surface water flooding alone.

A study led by University of Oxford, found that external air temperatures of 27 degrees and above ground will make it uncomfortably hot for passengers on the Tube network. In the worst case scenario, there would be 8 days (baseline period – 1961-1990) where external temperatures exceed 27 degrees, compared to up to 29 days by 2030 and 41 days by 2050.

In London, the Mayor had earler taken action through the introduction of the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone, which has helped reduce pollution in central London by nearly half at the same time as helping to reduce carbon emissions. 

On 25 October, the zone will expand up to the north and south circular, taking in 3.8 million Londoners, and is expected to reduce road transport NOx emissions by around 30 per cent.

The Mayor on Thursday launched a London-wide environment campaign to inspire all Londoners – individuals, businesses and communities – to take action on climate change.

This started with an art installation by Julian Beever and supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, at Prior Weston primary school symbolising the crossroads we currently face and that by making the right choices we can provide a greener, fairer future for younger generations.

“In the year of COP26, London is at a crossroads. We either take bold action now or face the consequences – with catastrophic impacts on our environment, the air we breathe and the climate,” Sadiq Khan said.

“I also want London to be a zero-pollution city so that no child has to grow up in our city breathing toxic air. That’s why I’m expanding the Ultra Low Emission Zone next month.”    

Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, said: “The latest data makes it clear that the global climate emergency requires bold local action.”

“At Bloomberg Philanthropies, we are glad to support the Mayor of London’s creative and promising efforts to capitalize on the power of data and art to increase support for public health and raise awareness of the urgent need to fight climate change.”

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