UN Report Describes "Climate Chaos" as COP27 Begins

On Sunday, the first day of COP27, the UN's weather and climate body, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released its annual report. The WMO declared that the past eight years are on track to be the hottest ever recorded.

UN Report Describes "Climate Chaos" as COP27 Begins
Image credit: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

Facts

  • On Sunday, the first day of COP27, the UN's weather and climate body, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released its annual report. The WMO declared that the past eight years are on track to be the hottest ever recorded.
  • The report indicated that the globe is struggling with the climate crisis and that the previously-agreed +1.5°C limit on global warming is now "barely within reach." The report detailed the year's extreme weather events from Puerto Rico to Pakistan.
  • In a statement Sunday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the world was sending a "distress signal." He said that the WMO report was "a chronicle of climate chaos."
  • COP27 president, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, urged world leaders not to let food and energy crises stemming from the Ukraine war delay climate action.
  • The report found that greenhouse gases are all at record levels, with methane showing the highest one-year jump ever recorded. Mike Meredith, science leader at the British Antarctic Survey, said, "The message in this report could barely be bleaker."
  • In last year's COP26 in Glasgow, the world community committed to "phase down" the use of coal, stop deforestation by 2030, and submit new climate action plans to the UN. Last year's COP26 lauded nations' commitments to keeping temperatures at +1.5°C over baseline, but admitted the "pulse is weak."

Sources: Al Jazeera, Guardian, Associated Press, BBC News, France24, and Newsbud.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Atlantic Council. Much is at stake in Sharm el-Sheikh. The WMO report shows climate impacts are causing global suffering on a rampant scale, and the expectation is that all countries will increase their ambitions to stay below the +1.5°C mark. COP27 must showcase commitment to a $100B goal and agree on a robust climate finance arrangement for the future.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Climate Champions. We are in the middle of an interlinked climate, energy, nature, and food crises. Despite small glimmers of progress, the world is still nowhere near the scale and pace of climate action needed to secure a net zero and resilient world by 2050. National governments must radically and rapidly strengthen their climate actions before 2030 — this new report shows how "behind the eight ball" we are.
  • Narrative C, as provided by Forbes. While climate change is an urgent issue, journalists and activists have an obligation to separate the facts from fiction and describe environmental problems honestly and accurately. The catastrophic framing of climate change does far more harm than good, not only by impacting the mental health of our youth, but by alienating and polarizing large portions of the population and distracting from other important issues. Climate alarmism must be taken with a grain of salt.

Predictions