UAE Press: Earth on 'fast track' to become uninhabitable

UAE Press: Earth on 'fast track' to become uninhabitable

ABU DHABI, 6th April, 2022 (WAM) -- A report prepared by leading United Nations scientists and described by the world body as "a horror story" has warned that the planet may become uninhabitable unless immediate substantial action is taken to mitigate global warming, said a local newspaper.

The report, researched and written by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), confirmed that even if all the commitments made by countries in successive climate change summits, are met today, the earth's temperature will still rise by 3.2 degrees Celsius this century, more than double the 1.5 degrees limit set by the 2015 Paris Agreement, said Gulf News in an editorial on Wednesday.

A rise in the temperature above the agreed limit would "see our planet hit by unprecedented heatwaves, terrifying storms, and widespread water shortages," says UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The world is on a "fast track" to disaster, he warned in his comments in the report, which urged that it is "now or never" to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. To keep the rise under the 1.5 degrees mark, said the report, carbon emissions from everything that we do, buy, use or eat "must peak by 2025 and tumble rapidly after that, reaching net-zero by the middle of this century."

"But that goal seems unviable unless 'all countries' reduce their fossil fuel use substantially, extend access to electricity, improve energy efficiency and increase the use of alternative fuels, such as hydrogen, the report said in its plan for action, endorsed by 195 countries," it continued.

Many countries, including the UAE, have announced plans to target net-zero or carbon neutrality by 2050. It is challenging, especially with the persistent reliance on fossil fuel. But it is doable if recommendations in the report are taken seriously.

In the UAE, federal and local governments have set ambitious and innovative plans to reach the nation's net-zero target, contribute to mitigating the risks of climate change and ensure a sustainable healthy lifestyle for citizens and residents.

The latest plan was announced by the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi (EAD) earlier this week. The 'Abu Dhabi Environmental Centennial 2071' aims to make the emirate "a leader in conservation over the next 50 years."

The paper added that it is based on conserving Abu Dhabi's environment and natural resources, extending green areas, developing a circular economy, with no waste, and adopting various renewable energies to enable transformations into a low-carbon lifestyle.

As the UN report noted, each country must do its part in humanity's great battle to minimise global warming and save the planet. The UAE had been doing its fair share in fighting climate change years before the Paris agreement was signed in 2015.

The Dubai-based daily concluded by saying, "But this against-the-odds battle needs a collective effort and honest implementation of the agreed protocols, particularly by major industrial countries, the real culprits in this 'horror story'."