Pacific island countries face an especially dire risk from climate change because of sea level rise. In some cases, low-lying countries could disappear completely.
Fiji is working to build a coalition of more than 90 countries from the Caribbean, Africa and Asia facing climate crisis.
„We hope that the secretary-general will draw far more inspiration from his first visit to go further, faster and deeper with the climate summit,” Fiji’s UN Ambassador Satyendra Prasad told AFP.
„We are very hopeful that the climate summit will mark a turning point.”
– China: climate power –
The UN push on climate change is shaping up amid geopolitical shifts: the United States under Donald Trump has decided to pull out of the Paris agreement to combat global warming, giving China more space to assert its views.
„The Trump administration’s disdain for climate diplomacy has left China looking like the main guarantor of the Paris agreement,” said Richard Gowan, UN director for the International Crisis Group.
„While China is increasingly active across the UN, other states are suspicious of its stances on human rights and development. But it is the indispensable power in climate talks now.”
Trump announced in 2017 that the United States would exit the Paris agreement, but under the terms of the deal the withdrawal will only become effective in 2020.
The US administration is not taking part in summit preparations but has not said it will skip the event, according to UN officials.
Guterres’ mission may also be further complicated by Trump’s nomination of Kelly Knight Craft as UN ambassador.
Craft, who is married to a major coal magnate, raised eyebrows for declaring that she believed „both sides” of climate science, indicating she may well be out of sync with the UN on the issue.
– Plans, not speeches –
Guterres has told leaders to bring plans, not speeches, to the summit to be held in New York on September 23 during the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations.
The summit is seen as critical because of US resistance to discuss climate change at other forums including the G7 and G20, and again last week at a meeting of the Arctic Council in Finland.
„What people are looking for is countries to commit to major ambition increases in 2025 and 2030 at the summit or in 2020,” said Nick Mabey, head of the E3G climate think tank.
This should include legally binding targets for countries to phase out coal, become climate neutral and invest in climate resilience, especially for the poorest countries, he added.
A string of apocalyptic reports on the state of the planet is bringing home the need for concrete steps.
One million species are on the brink of extinction. Carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise, pushing targets from the Paris accord further out of reach.UN climate envoy Luis Alfonso de Alba told AFP on Friday that he was optimistic about prospects for a breakthrough on climate, saying the dire predictions were having a galvanizing effect.”The situation worldwide is quite different from what it was five to 10 years ago. Five to 10 years ago, countries were looking at their neighbors before acting,” he said.”Today, everybody has full conscience of the urgency to act, and they are not going to wait for their neighbors to act.”
Over a foot of rain falls in South as severe weather heads toward East Coast
Over a foot of rain falls in South as severe weather heads toward East Coastoriginally appeared on abcnews.go.com
A storm system plaguing parts of the southern U.S. for almost a week brought nearly 13 inches of rain to southern Mississippi on Saturday, causing widespread flash flooding and prompting a flash flood emergency on Saturday evening.
Six states have seen locations with over 6 inches of rain in the last week: Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Mississippi.
There were also at least 47 reports of severe weather from Louisiana to Virginia, including two reported tornadoes in the latter.
Thunderstorms are firing up along the tail end of the storm system on Sunday morning. That means there is the possibility for an additional 3 to 5 inches of rainfall during the morning in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and extreme western Florida.
There are still flash flood watches issued for parts of the Gulf, and new flash flood watches are being issued now for parts of the Mid-Atlantic as well, as this slow-moving storm system finally reaches the East Coast. As the storm moves east, it will interact with another developing storm system — although faster and weaker.
Later Sunday, severe storms will likely fire up from Alabama to Virginia, including parts of the Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, metro areas. Damaging winds and some hail are the main risk. Brief tornadoes are possible, though unlikely given the atmospheric conditions. However, any slow-moving thunderstorm could produce flash flooding.
Severe storm activity will reach the East Coast by Sunday night, with some gusty thunderstorms possible in parts of Charleston, South Carolina, and Raleigh. Meanwhile, unsettled weather will begin moving through parts of the Midwest with rain from Chicago to Erie, Pennsylvania.
By Monday morning, this new storm system will begin to interact with the slow-moving storm departing the East Coast and expand the rainfall across parts of the Northeast and New England.
Pockets of heavy rain, with some areas of gusty winds, will develop on Monday across the Northeast. Locally heavy rainfall will cause flash flooding in parts of the region through Monday night.
A large area of the East Coast seeing 1 to 3 inches of rain through Tuesday, with a couple of pockets of heavier rainfall. The main concern is for more rainfall on the Gulf Coast, where 3 to 4 inches of additional rain is possible, and areas of the interior Northeast, where 2 to 3 inches of rain could fall in the hillier terrain of the Appalachians.PHOTO: The highest rainfall totals will be in the Florida Panhanle and interior Northeast through Tuesday. (ABC News)
A massive waterspout was spotted swirling off the southern coast of Singapore, dwarfing nearby high-rise buildings.
Passengers on a Myanmar National Airlines flight have a brilliant flight crew to thank for miraculously landing safely after the plane’s front landing gear failed to deploy.
Flight UB103 touched down at Mandalay International Airport at 9:09 a.m. local time with all 82 passengers and seven crew members able to safely evacuate the plane after it scraped its nose down the runway and came to a perfect stop.
On approach, the captain tried to deploy the front landing gear, but found out it was malfunctioning and could not be activated, the airline said in a statement.
After circling the airport to burn off fuel, the captain came in for a landing with no front wheel.
Video shot from inside the airport showed the plane landing on its back wheels, steadying and then eventually coming down on its nose — sending a shower of sparks down the runway. Miraculously, it slid to a stop before passengers were able to be evacuated by inflatable slide.
„Myanmar National Airlines would like to express our deepest appreciation to all the passengers onboard and our crews,” the airline said in the statement.
The plane, an Embraer 190, had taken off from Yangon, Myanmar, about an hour flight south of Mandalay.
The airline commended Capt. Myat Moe Aung, first officers Myo Thiha Aung and Kaung Set Lwin, purser Cherry Myint and three attendants for safely landing the plane.
ABC News’ Ahmad Hemingway and Will Gretsky contributed to this report