On May 30th, the United Nations launched a new global coalition that has the topics of climate change and the environment in its sites. The coalition is the result of a meeting among the heads of the UN Environment, World Meteorological Organization, and the World Health Organization.
During the launch, Petteri Taalas, the chief of the WHO stressed that the world only has a 30-year window to reduce greenhouse emissions, minimize its carbon footprint and pursue more renewable energy sources. In essence, Taalas urged for the implementation of the Paris Agreement that the Trump Administration backed out of last year.
According to the coalition’s studies, carbon dioxide is the chief culprit when it comes to the gases driving climate change.
Last year, the costs associated with natural disasters reached record highs. Tropical cyclones were particularly devastating. Carbon Dioxide levels are also at record highs, resulting in average global temperatures that are almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than they were prior to our modern, industrial levels. Climate change is hurting global economies.
The WHO went on to stress that in order to keep the world’s population healthy we must focus on the prevention of disease and health disorders. To accomplish that, every measure must be taken to ensure people have healthy food to eat, clean water to drink and clean air to breathe.
Pollution is the obvious source of high carbon dioxide levels. That pollution comes by way of vehicle emissions, waste incineration, and ozone at the ground level. Reducing the pollutants from things like traffic, industrial operations, and agriculture could help reduce the rate of global warming by almost a full degree in Fahrenheit.
The coalition has already reached plans of action in major countries to target risks associated with climate change. Examples include better planning for disease outbreaks like cholera and malaria, which tend to be climate-sensitive. Also, the coalition will work toward improving the early warning systems for weather events like tropical cyclones.
The new coalition will have a chance to showcase its immediate actions at the end of October during the Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health, which will take place in Geneva.