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No Country Is Safe From Global Warming: UN Climate Chief

Amid a season of extreme weather and new temperature records, Patricia Espinosa warned that no nation is safe from the impacts of climate change.

Amid a season of extreme weather and new temperature records, Patricia Espinosa warned that no nation is safe from the impacts of climate change. (Photo Credit: Pexels)

Rotterdam: The UN’s top climate official urged governments Monday to stop their “deferral and delay” tactics and instead embrace rapid, widespread measures to curb and adapt to global warming.

Amid a season of extreme weather and new temperature records, Patricia Espinosa warned that no nation is safe from the impacts of climate change. Greece on Monday created a new ministry to address the impact of climate change following the country’s worst heatwave in decades.

“There is not anymore a situation where we can say these are the vulnerable countries and these are the not vulnerable countries,” she said.

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With less than three months to go before this year’s UN climate summit, Espinosa appealed for governments that have signed up to the 2015 Paris accord to back what she called “ambitious, rapid, widespread, transformative efforts” to limit global temperature rise and prepare for the inevitable impacts of a warming world.

“We need to see that parties move beyond politics of deferral and delay and widen the narrow scope of self-interest,” she said.

Espinosa’s comments came at the opening of a new floating office for the Global Center on Adaption in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the office “a perfect example of how we can adapt to the changing climate,” noting that the building is off-grid, carbon-neutral, self-sufficient and ready to adapt to future rising sea levels.

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Such high-tech facilities are beyond the reach of millions in poorer nations, whose leaders have demanded that developed countries pay some of the costs they face in adjusting to climate change.

The president of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, said he hoped the UN climate summit in November would see a commitment for rich nations to double their existing pledge of providing USD 100 billion a year to developing countries to combat the effects of climate change.

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Frans Timmermans, the European Commission vice president, called upon the United States to help meet the USD 100 billion target — which itself is still USD 30 million short.

China, one of the world’s biggest polluters, should also increase its efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, said Timmermans, whose portfolio covers environmental issues.

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