MANHATTAN: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who just concluded a visit to the South Pacific region, called on the world’s decision-makers to make “enlightened” choices on climate action because “the whole planet” is at stake.
“Over the past week, I have witnessed first-hand the impacts of climate change in the Pacific Island States”, the UN chief said in a statement at the end of his visit to the region. “They contribute very little to the global climate emergency and yet, they are the ones that are being most affected”. He did not mince words in saying that for some of them, “climate change is now an existential threat”.
Pointing out that entire villages are being relocated, livelihoods destroyed and people becoming sick from climate-related diseases, Guterres lamented: “The risks are all too real”.
He drew attention to his time in Tuvalu, (a small Pacific Island State), where he saw “an entire country fighting to preserve its very existence”.
And yet, the UN chief found “remarkable” that the countries facing these enormous challenges have decided that “they are not giving up” but are instead “determined to find solutions”.
Not only have they developed ways to increase their resilience and adaptation, but according to Guterres, “they are leading the way in reducing emissions and are an example that the rest of the world should follow”.
In Vanuatu, his final stop in the Pacific, the Secretary-General tweeted that the vulnerable island State was one of “the most disaster-prone countries, made worse by the global climate emergency”. However, he added that he “saw first-hand how the Pacific island nation is facing threats with determined climate action”.
Reiterating the powerful message that he has continued to underscore throughout his visit to the South Pacific, the UN chief stressed that “climate change cannot be stopped by the small island countries alone, it has to be stopped by the rest of the world” and that this requires the political will for “transformational policies in energy, mobility, industry, and agriculture”.
Guterres echoed the “three urgent messages” to world leaders that he had “consistently conveyed” throughout his visit to the Pacific, beginning with shifting taxes from salaries to carbon. “We need to tax pollution, not people,” he reiterated.
Second, he flagged that countries must stop subsidizing fossil fuels.
“Taxpayer money should not be used to boost hurricanes, spread drought and heatwaves, melt glaciers and bleach corals”, he asserted.
And third, he argued against building new coal plants by 2020, saying “we need a green economy, not a grey economy”.
Guterres said that solidarity or generosity is not being sought, “it is enlightened self-interest from all decision-makers around the world” that is needed “because it’s not only of the Pacific that is at stake, it’s the whole planet”.
“To save the Pacific is to save the whole planet”, the Secretary-General added.
Climate ministry for fuel cars conversion over electric technology: Official
ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) has held discussions with oil marketing companies (OMCs) on electric car policy phase-wise conversion from fuel cars to electric technology.
In an interview, an official of the ministry Tuesday said after the approval of the prime minister Imran Khan to form a policy framework for introducing electric vehicles, the ministry had expedited its efforts to take all relevant stakeholders in the loop.
“During the recent consultative session with OMCs the ministry has requested the companies to send their inputs over the matter within a week so that the policy formation to be carried out in the right direction,” he added.
He said everything was at the initial stages as the policy had to seek approval from the federal cabinet and Economic Coordination Committee, adding, “Likewise implementation mechanism will be developed.”
The ministry aimed at initiating conversion process from two wheels and three wheels transportation sources namely motorbikes and rickshaws then it would focus on the four wheels including cars and buses, he added.
He underscored that Research and Development Engineering Company Lahore was working on electric cars and had developed an indigenous electric bike equipment of Rs65,000 cost.
“The fully charged electric bike has the capacity to run for 125 kilometers.The company claims that if government assists the firm then the price could be managed at a lower rate,” he added.
The MoCC official said the regulatory framework for electric cars would also be developed whereas our target was to acquire the capacity of local manufacturing of electric cars along with indigenous potential for exporting this technology.
“The conversion of fuel using automobile to electric cars will help us to fulfill our Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. We have pledged to reduce vehicular emissions under the agreement,” he mentioned.
“Almost 43 per cent vehicular emissions are contributing to the overall ambient air pollution prevailing across the hotspots of the country. Electric cars will reduce the impact of oil consumption bill on our economy with the general consumers to get benefit at the basic level. It has 1/4 times less fuel cost as compared to oil using automobiles. Lahore University of Management Sciences has a thorough research work over electric cars and is in close coordination with the ministry to develop its policy framework,” he added.
Heatwave persists in Sindh
SUKKUR: Heatwave continued in northern Sindh including Sukkur, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Khairpur, Ghotki, Kashmore- Kandhkot and other parts on Friday.
A number of heat-related cases were reported in hospitals from various parts of the northern Sindh. Weather severity increased incidents of sun-stroke, which forced affectees to rush to public and private hospitals for treatment.
According to the Met Office, the current wave of heat is expected to decrease within the next two or three days. There were also reports of power outages in the region.
World’s highest operating weather stations installed on Mt. Everest
ISLAMABAD: The National Geographic Society has announced the successful installation of the worlds highest operating weather stations on Mount Everest to provide researchers, climbers, and the public with near real-time information about mountain conditions, the media reported.
“The multi-disciplinary team installed the world’s two highest operating automated weather stations at Balcony area (8,430 m) and South Col (7,945 m), as well as three other weather stations on Mount Everest,” Fae Jencks, Director, Marketing and Communications at the National Geographic Society, said in a statement.
The other stations were placed at Phortse (3,810 m), Everest Base Camp (5,315 m) and Camp II (6,464 m), the statement said, adding that each weather station will record data on temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, and wind direction, The Himalayan Times reported.
Data from the weather stations and other new research conducted as part of National Geographic and Rolex’s Perpetual Planet Extreme Expedition to Everest will help communities respond to climate risks that threaten the lives and livelihoods of the more than one billion people in the region.
The successful installation aims to break new ground in our monitoring and understanding of climate change as the stations will help continuously monitor the upper reaches of the atmosphere, which is critical to tracking and predicting weather patterns around the globe, the statement added.
“The Balcony weather station is the first weather station installed at an elevation above 8,000 meters, meaning it will also be the first to sample the stratosphere as natural variations in the atmospheric boundaries change over time.”
From April to June, an international team of scientists, climbers, and story-tellers, led by the NatGeo Society and Tribhuvan University and supported in partnership with Rolex, conducted a scientific expedition to Everest, believed to be the most comprehensive single scientific expedition to the mountain in history, it claimed.
With team members from eight countries, including 17 Nepali researchers, the expedition team conducted trailblazing research in five areas of science that are critical to understanding environmental changes and their impacts: biology, glaciology, meteorology, geology, and mapping.
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