Glasgow [UK] : New Climate action can be the driver for a green and equitable future for all, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed has said while urging people everywhere to demand that leaders deliver on their promise to limit global warming.
Speaking ahead of the Amina Mohammed, which wraps up this weekend in Glasgow, Scotland, Mohammed underlined the need for greater funding and commitment, as well as solidarity. “Climate change doesn’t pause, and neither must we,” she said in her address to the TED Countdown Summit in her recently live-streamed TED Talk held recently in nearby Edinburgh and live-streamed globally.
Mohammed, who is from Nigeria, recalled her childhood walks along the shores of Lake Chad, one of the largest lakes in Africa, with some 30 million people in four countries relying on its bounty.
Back then, the lake was more like an ocean to her as it seemed to go on forever. Today, it is a mere fraction of its size.
“Ninety per cent of this fresh-water basin has dried up – and with it – millions and millions of livelihoods: farmers, fisherfolk and our market-women”, she said. “Climate change takes yet another victim”.
This loss is further compounded by the damage caused by the Harmattan, she added, which in the past was just a short three-month season of dust and wind.
The dust storms are now coming earlier and bigger each year. The human and ecological fallout has been devastating, with job loss, hunger and displacement.
Mohammed described this as a “perfect storm” for crushing poverty and violence, which has provided fertile ground for extremism to take root, wreaking havoc on peace.
“Sadly, touch down anywhere in the world and you’ll hear more tragic stories of climate devastation. Drought, floods, wildfires – lives and livelihoods in jeopardy – tipping towards catastrophe”.
Even in the face of the mounting climate crisis, the UN deputy chief still has hope in the “human family”, and its unwavering drive to survive against all odds.
It is this spirit which that led countries to adopt the Paris Agreement on climate change, which aims to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.