'Time is Up': Countries Trapped in Climate Crisis Raise Alarm at UN

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Laila Afifa

24 September 2022 14:24 WIB

A man makes his way through flooded area during heavy rain in Seoul, South Korea, August 8, 2022. Yonhap via REUTERS

TEMPO.CO, United Nations - Countries on the front lines of the climate crisis are fed up.

During the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations this week, low-lying island nation Vanuatu stepped up a fight to get the world to focus on combating global warming by calling for a fossil fuel nonproliferation treaty.

"The time is up - action is required now," Vanuatu's President Nikenike Vurobaravu told the U.N. General Assembly on Friday, Sept. 23.

The treaty would aim to scale down coal, oil and gas production to limit the rise in temperatures to the globally agreed 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

It would also "enable a global just transition for every worker, community and nation with fossil fuel dependence," said the leader of the carbon-negative country.

A U.N. climate science panel - the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - has warned that global emissions are on track to blow past the 1.5 degrees C warming limit and reach some 3.2 degrees C by the end of the century.

Vanuatu has also asked the International Court of Justice to issue an opinion on the right to be protected from the adverse impacts of climate change, a move that Vurobaravu said: "is not a silver bullet for increasing climate action, but only one tool to get us closer to the end goal of a safe planet for humanity."

In Pakistan, devastating floods this month engulfed large swaths of the country, killing more than 1,500 people and causing damage estimated at $30 billion. Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif asked world leaders why his people were paying the price of global warming.

"Pakistan has never seen a more stark and devastating example of the impact of global warming. Life in Pakistan has changed forever," Sharif told the General Assembly. "Nature has unleashed her fury on Pakistan, without looking ... at our carbon footprint."



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