UN Focus On Consequences Of Climate Change – OpEd


On March 20, 2023, the Intergovernmental Planel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a Synthesis Report based on its three  pervious reports covering eight years of work.  The IPCC is a panel of 93 scientists co-chaired by Hoesung Lee of South Korea and Valerie Masson-Delmotte of France. The Synthesis Report stressed that “Priortizing equity, climate justice, social justice, and just transition actions are needed for climate resilient development.”

There are three billion peole who live in areas that are highly vulnerable to chlimat change.  One of the consequences of climate change is to increase migration from these vulnerable areas.  The concept of safe and orderly migration has not yet been put into practice. Climate change also has a negative impact on food production.

The IPCC, created in 1988, makes recommendations for action, put policies have to be established and carried out by governments. Thus, a UN. conference will be held in New York this September.  The recommendations of the IPCC also influence the policy proposals of non-governmental organizations whose influence on climate issues is growing.

At the same period as the presentation of the IPCC report a related U.N. Water Conference, 22-24 March, was held in New York. The conference stressed that fresh water is a crucial resource and that the future well-being of the world society will depend on how well we manage this global supply of fresh water.  

Today, some 26 percent  of the world’s population lack access to safe drinking water.  There are falling water tables in many countries.  Much fresh water is poluted  by untreated wastewater, nitrates from agriculture, and the release of hazardous chemicals.  Climate change seems to have created increased rainfall variability.

The U.N. Water Conference highlighted an issue which has been a focus of the Association of World Citizens: the management and necessary cooperation of trans-frontier river systems.  The management of trans-frontier river systems has a strong political coloring and a potential for conflict as we see with the Jordan River, the Nile, the Tigris and Euphrates and the Ganga.

The IPCC and the U.N. Water Conference have set out the challenges facing both governments and non-governmental organizations.  Cooperation for joint action is needed.  Building on this awareness of the need for cooperation is vital.  We must work actively on the next steps.

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens

René Wadlow

Rene Wadlow is President and a Representative to the United Nations, Geneva of the Association of World Citizens.

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