UNITED STATES: A mass exodus “on a biblical scale” might result from global warming, the UN secretary-general António Guterres warned on Tuesday as he urged the implementation of legal frameworks, particularly for refugees.
The climate crisis is prompting sea levels to rise more quickly than they have in the past 3,000 years, prompting “a torrent of trouble” for over a billion people from London to Los Angeles, Bangkok to Buenos Aires, said António Guterres on Tuesday. He said some countries might cease to exist by drowning under the tides.
Speaking before the UN security council, Guterres said that reducing carbon emissions, tackling issues like poverty that exacerbate the effects of rising sea levels on communities, and creating new international laws to safeguard individuals who become homeless or even stateless were all necessary.
Guterres said that the sea level rise was a danger multiplier that had “dramatic implications” for world peace and security by harming people, economies, and infrastructure. He added that, with the current rate of global warming, significant sea level rise is already unavoidable, but the results of failing to tackle the issue are “unthinkable.”
Nations and low-lying regions could disappear forever. The wholesale evacuation of entire communities would be on a biblical scale. And there would be an intensifying struggle for land, freshwater, and other resources, Guterres stated. He added, “People’s human rights do not disappear because their homes do. Yes, this means international refugee law.”
The International Law Commission is evaluating the legal circumstances. In 2020, the UN human rights committee declared that it was unlawful for administrations to send people back to nations where their lives could be endangered by the climate crisis.
According to a recent compilation of data from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the world’s oceans have warmed more swiftly during the past century than at any point in the previous 11,000 years. Sea levels are also rising quickly. Warmer water expands and melts ice caps and glaciers, raising sea levels.
The WMO secretary-general, Prof. Petteri Taalas, stated that “In the short to long term, sea level rise poses dangers to economies, livelihoods, communities, health, well-being, food and water security, and cultural values.”
“Even if global warming is miraculously kept to 1.5 °C , sea levels will rise significantly,” Guterres said.
50 cm of sea level rise by 2100 is predicted, while the WMO stated that there would be a rise of 2-3 metres over the next 2,000 years if warming was kept to 1.5C and 2-6 metres if it were limited to 2C.
There was “no credible pathway” to 1.5C in place, says a UN report from October. If current national targets are reached, the temperature will rise by 2.4 °C.
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