New York, 30 December 2021 (TDI): Under the subject of Year in Review 2021: Climate action, or blah, blah, blah? One of the most important awareness campaigns to end this 2021 was made by the UN, today. The following was stated in this awareness report written in simple, professional language.

Heading into Uncharted Territory

As the planet‘s temperatures rise, it is imperative to limit it to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels in the next five years. The world‘s average temperatures have risen by 1.2 degreesaccording to the World Meteorological Organization’s flagship State of the Global Climate report.

According to a UN Environment study released last October, global warming this century is on course to increase by 2.7 degrees. The Earth is on a path towards dangerous overheating, with worrying consequences for present and future generations.

Severe weather events are more frequent because of global warming, and there have been several incidents in previous years, with expectations of others including catastrophic floods in Western Europe and devastating wildfires in the Mediterranean area.

In the past year, natural disasters disproportionately affected more impoverished countries, contributing to food insecurity, poverty, as well as displacement.

Bearing the brunt

As governments and activists have helped push adaptation to the top of the agenda, the countries most hurt by the Climate Crisis are those least responsible for causing it, a paradoxical claim made with increasing severity.

Adaptation remains the focus of the 2015 Paris Agreement. Increasing the resilience of communities tclimate change reduces vulnerabilities. A gap in funding remains despite the fact that time is running out to defend the small island developing states.

Despite cutbacks, climate impacts would remain. According to a UNEP report from November, Inger Andersen, UNEP Chief, said climate change adaptation funding and implementation needs to be stepped up. 

“And we need it now.”

Continual Consumption of Fossil Fuels 

The rise in temperature cannot be limited if coal consumption is not stopped and the world does not switch to more alternative energy. In spite of better climate commitments, governments continue producing fossil-fuel energy at levels that will increase global warming.

Over the next two decades, oil and gas production will increase, while coal production will decline. Therefore, fossil fuel production will increase, at least until 2040. According to the UN Production Gap report, most of these producers will continue supporting fossil fuel production growth.

For the first time in 40 years, the UN hosted a high-level dialogue on energy. Businesses, including utilities, have committed to installing 823 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030, mainly solar, wind, geothermal, and hydropower.

Making peace with nature

Weather extremes indicate the natural world is reacting to human-made climate change, but restoring balance can be accomplished if the world works with nature instead of against it.

It is time to rechange the relationship with nature if tangible results are desired in tackling climate change, biodiversity loss, and land degradation, global investment in nature-based solutions will have to triple by 2030 and double by 2050.

As the UN Biodiversity Conference opened last month (the second part is scheduled for spring 2022)UN Chief António Guterres urged countries to work together to ensure a sustainable future for people and the planet. An international blueprint will be developed at the conference to conserve, restore, and manage biodiversity and ecosystems.

Promising the Earth at COP26

Media coverage and public interest in climate change were dominated by the COP26 UN Climate Conference held in Glasgow in November. The goal was to go beyond the Paris Agreement, which was adopted at the 2015 Conference.

People of all ages demonstrated in Glasgow and across the world, demanding more action from governments ahead of COP26. Early in the event, an unprecedented pledge was made to restore the world’s forests.

Moreover, both public and private actors are committed to combating climate change, halting biodiversity destruction and hunger, and protecting indigenous rights. More than 500 financial services firms announced they were aligning $130 trillion in assets with climate goals, including limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.

The Glasgow negotiations disappointed many world leaders. Bhutan believes public statements differ from what is heard during negotiations.

“We expect enormous things from Glasgow.” “We need strong commitments for the billion people living in the LDCs to survive in the future,” said the country’s representative on “Adaptation Day.”

Energy Day saw the announcement of the Global Clean Power Transition Statement. This statement committed to ending coal investment, scaling up clean power, making a just transition, and phasing out coal in vital economies by 2030 and elsewhere by 2040.

77 countries, including Poland, Vietnam, and Chile, have joined, 23 of which have committed to ending coal for the first time. Among the largest coal financiers are China, Japan, and South Korea.

Keep Pushing Forward

It wasn’t all roses at COP26. To the fury of some countries, India altered the wording related to fossil fuels at the last plenary session when seemingly at the last minute, it altered the wording related to fossil fuels.

It was notable, however, for the inclusion of those two words —fossil fuels— which the nations of the world agreed to “phase down” (rather than the original “phase out”).

Some commentators believe the agreement won’t release the world from a climate-related catastrophe, while others see hope in the spirit in which the negotiations took place and tangible, worthwhile steps towards a sustainable future for people and the planet at each subsequent COP.

“I know you are disappointed.”Progress isn’t always a straight line,” said the UN Secretary General. “There are often detours.” Sometimes there are ditches. But I know we can get there. We are in the fight of our lives. Stay strong. Never retreat. Keep pushing forward.