This is the News in Brief, from the United Nations.
Europe: Temperatures rise more than twice global average
Temperatures in Europe have increased at more than twice the global average over the past 30 years – the highest of any continent in the world, according to a report released Wednesday by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
It shows that as the warming trend continues, exceptional heat, wildfires, floods and other climate change impacts will affect society, economies and ecosystems.
The State of the Climate in Europe report focused on last year, provides information on rising temperatures, land and marine heatwaves, extreme weather, changing precipitation patterns, and retreating ice and snow.
High impact weather and climate events led to hundreds of fatalities, directly affected more than half a million people and caused economic damages exceeding $50 billion.
About 84 per cent of the events were floods or storms.
Human rights belong at the heart of climate debate: UN rights chief
With just a few days to go before the opening of the UN Climate Change Conference, the UN human rights chief has issued an open letter calling for human rights to be at the heart of efforts to tackle climate change.
High Commissioner Volker Türk warned on Wednesday that our right to life is being threatened by insufficient action in the face of the climate emergency.
He said that the COP27 Climate Change Conference in Egypt is critical for people’s effective enjoyment of human rights around the world, not just in the years to come, but now, adding that people are losing their homes, their livelihoods, and their lives.
“We see how important it is in COP27, that agreements are reached that move us ahead on climate financing, on loss and damage, but also that put us away from the trajectory that we are on now that could see the rise in temperature of three degrees, you can’t imagine what that means, even in the lifetime of our children, because many parts of the world will be uninhabitable as a result and that’s disastrous for human rights.”
Mr. Türk said that disasters, such as the recent flooding in Pakistan, are destined to become a recurring nightmare for people across the world if dramatic, rights-based action isn’t taken to respond to global warming.
Free press vital for functioning democracy: Guterres
A free press is vital to a functioning democracy, exposing wrongdoing, navigating our complex world, and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said the UN Secretary-General on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.
António Guterres said that a surge in disinformation, online bullying and hate speech, particularly against women journalists, is contributing to the stifling of media workers around the world.
In addition, intimidation through the abuse of legal, financial and other means is undermining efforts to hold the powerful accountable. The Secretary-General said that these trends threaten not only journalists, but society as a whole.
More than 70 journalists have been killed so far this year.
Between 2006 and 2020, over 1,200 journalists have been killed around the world, with close to 9 out of 10 cases of these killings still unsolved.
Impunity leads to more killings and is often a symptom of worsening conflict and the breakdown of law and order.
Nicki Chadwick, UN News.