This is the News in Brief, from the United Nations.
Some of the world’s iconic glaciers are set to disappear by 2050, according to a new study by UNESCO released Thursday, which highlights the accelerated melting of glaciers in World Heritage sites.
Glaciers in a third of sites are under threat, regardless of efforts to limit temperature increases.
The study says that it is still possible to save the other two thirds, if the rise in global temperatures does not exceed 1.5°C compared to the pre-industrial period.
UNESCO says that this will be a major challenge for the COP27 climate conference.
Fifty UNESCO World Heritage sites are home to glaciers, representing almost 10 per cent of the Earth’s total glacierized area.
The study, in partnership with IUCN, shows that these glaciers have been retreating at an accelerated rate since 2000 due to CO2 emissions. They are currently losing 58 billion tons of ice every year and are responsible for nearly five per cent of observed global sea-level rise.
The number of reported disease outbreaks and climate-related health emergencies in the greater Horn of Africa have reached their highest-ever level this century, deepening a health crisis for 47 million people there, already facing acute hunger.
A report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that, of the seven countries in the region, there have been 39 reported outbreaks, flooding and other acute public health events since the beginning of this year.
Outbreaks of anthrax, measles, cholera, yellow fever, chikungunya, meningitis, and other infectious diseases account for more than 80 per cent of the acute public health events reported.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, said that the failure of four consecutive rainy seasons has scorched the earth and pushed people out of their homes in search of food and water.
The number of people facing acute hunger in the region has more than doubled in just four years.
Renewable energy will save lives and money, says WHO
A transition to clean energy sources will not only save lives but will also save money, said the World Health Organization Thursday.
WHO is calling on delegates at the upcoming COP27 in Egypt, to put renewable energy at the top of their agenda.
WHO says that 99 per cent of the world’s population breathes outdoor air that exceeds its air quality guidelines and leads to seven million premature deaths each year.
Dr Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, Head of the Climate Change and Health Unit at WHO said that the health benefits of investing in renewable energy, which is currently the cheapest energy source, are undeniable.
He said that clean energy, particularly solar panels, will not only improve public health but will also end up costing considerably less than burning fossil fuels.
Nicki Chadwick, UN News.