12 March 2014 - Summary
Recent examples of short-term climate disruption have done much to bring the overall issue of climate change up the political agenda. In responding to what will be one of the key challenges of the next decades – well beyond the 15-year lifetime of the post-2015 global development goals currently under discussion – much of the attention has been focused on the need to adapt to those elements of climate change that are already irreversible and also to the need to decarbonise existing high carbon-emitting economies. What needs much greater attention is the fundamental need to ensure that low-carbon emitters in the Global South are enabled to combine effective human development with responding to the challenges of climate change.
The scientific evidence that climate change is happening is now overwhelming and only a tiny handful of scientists question its anthropogenic causes. The most recent decadal report from the World Meteorological Office (WMO), for 2001-2010, confirms that climate change already involves disruption, with the decade seeing a clear increase in impact across the world. Events since 2010, including excessive heat waves, floods, droughts and the strongest land-fall cyclone (Typhoon Haiyan) ever recorded all point to accelerated disruption.
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