Paris climate agreement clears final hurdle to implementation

One of the major issues at the United Nations this week is tackling climate change. The landmark Paris climate agreement passed the final hurdle to implementation,… coinciding with a new report on countering climate hazards. Oh Soo-young reports. The Paris climate agreement will enter into force on November 4th,… becoming the first universal treaty on combating climate change. The UN confirmed on Wednesday that the landmark deal will be ratified by the European Union, Canada and Nepal,… surpassing the threshold of countries accounting for 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions needed for the treaty to take effect. The main goal of the agreement is to keep the rise of global warming to below two degrees Celsius… while trying to limit the figure to one-point-five degrees Celsius. It also aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to carbon reduction goals specified by each member state.

The deal was reached in December last year by 195 parties to the UN conference on climate change. Since then, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has pushed for its rapid implementation as a crucial part of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals,… which aim to improve lives across the world through positive changes in health, education, income and the environment. In a new report released Monday, the UN said more than four-point-two billion people have been affected by weather-related disasters in the last two decades. Developing countries incur the biggest losses,… with hurricanes, drought and other climate hazards resulting in environmental and socioeconomic consequences,… and knocking off about 5 percent of GDP. The report stresses the need for governments to produce more transformative policies. “Transformative policies are the kind of policies that help build their resiliencehelp , close inequality gaps, provide access to financial services, to diversification of livelihoods, quality education, health and social security.

” The next climate conference will be held in Morocco on November 7th,… when countries will report on their emissions reduction goals and national climate plans. Oh Soo-young, Arirang News..

UN report: Trump’s election may hurt Paris Climate Agreement

The election of a U.S. president who has called global warming a "hoax" alarmed environmentalists and climate scientists raising questions about whether America, once again, would pull out of an international climate deal. UN Up and Close this week: Our Oh Sooyoung. Donald's Trump election as the next U.S. president may thwart global efforts to effectively tackle climate change. That's what many climate experts fear could happen, based on Trump's outspoken opposition to the Paris Climate Agreement which entered into force last Friday. After 20 years of negotiations, the landmark deal was reached in December of last year by more than 190 countries which, for the first time in history, agreed to legally-binding limits on the rise of global temperature — no more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The deal also aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions as well as help developing countries tackle the severe impacts of climate change by mobilizing funds from higher-income governments. While President Obama has made tackling climate change one of his key priorities and part of his presidential legacy, President-elect Trump has on multiple occasions dismissed the concept of global warming as a hoax and pledged in May to cancel the Paris Agreement.

Under the accord, the U.S. has pledged to reduce emissions up to 28 percent by 2025 and contribute three billion U.S. dollars to the Green Climate Fund which will support clean energy systems and climate protection measures for developing countries. While the U.S. cannot pull out of the Paris Agreement for at least four years,… there are no sanctions or repercussions if it chooses to neglect its commitments in the meantime. "Between the U.S. and China, now climate change has been elevated into not only an environmental issue but a geopolitical one between the most important two countries in the world. We urge the next U.S. president to take that into consideration." The UN's annual climate conference began on Tuesday in Morocco,… gathering representatives from nearly 200 countries to discuss specific ways to implement the Paris Agreement. But with the possibility of the world's second largest carbon emitter backing out of its commitments, it remains uncertain whether the world will see meaningful progress on fighting climate change.

Oh Soo-young, Arirang News..

UN chief urges leaders to address climate change and sustainable development in Davos

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was another distinguished guest attending the World Economic Forum in Davos to speak on some of the most pressing issues facing the global community. He said global efforts to tackle climate change issue should go hand-in-hand with pursuing sustainable development. Park Ji-won shares with us the UN chief's message. The UN chief urged world leaders to join global efforts to address the climate change issue,… by ratifying a historical agreement reached in Paris in December,… aimed at effectively limiting green house gas emissions. "Governments must quickly ratify the Paris Agreement, so that it can be effective." He also called for sufficient financing for developing countries to promote less dependency on fossil fuels,… and the rapid implementation of actions at every possible level. The use of market mechanisms to spur the growth of carbon pricing being one of the actions. "The Paris Agreement gives the private sector an unprecedented opportunity to create clean energy and climate resilient economies. Governments have agreed on transparent rules to monitor progress, enhance accountability and foster climate market ambition." Ban stressed that such global efforts to overcome climate change must coincide with efforts to achieve sustainable development goals,.

… or SDGs. SDGs make up a set of 17 ambitious goals such as ending poverty and zero hunger,… that were agreed upon by more than 190 countries in September last year. The UN Secretary General said,… the global community should now move towards development models that are both sustainable and protect against climate change. The UN chief reiterated the importance of sustainable development goals at another open forum session in Davos. Ban called for the need to end poverty and create sustainable food systems,… through a successful implementation of the 17 goals,… an initiative that aims to eliminate hunger within 15 years,…and leave no one behind. Park Ji-won, Arirang News..

Korea severely hit by heavy rain, experts suggest impact of climate change and La Nina phenomenon

Although we are used to experiencing the monsoon season every year,… some experts suggest climate change has modified the patterns of rain, making it more difficult to predict. On top of that, the weather phenomenon known as La Nina is expected to arrive soon, bringing more rain to Asia. Here's Lee Ji-won with our News feature tonight. "A seasonal monsoon has wet most part of the nation for the past few days,… with several parts of the peninsula already seeing downpours,… and heavy rain alerts have been issued across most of the nation. In Seoul, it's been raining so much that the water level here at the Jamsu Bridge has topped over 6-point-2 meters, or more than three times the normal level, enough to shut it down." The low-level bridge stands at 2-meters above the river, but with the recent heavy rainfall..

. parts of the bridge and the Banpo Hangang Park have been flooded, forcing authorities to restrict the area due to safety concerns. The monsoon season, or "jangma" in Korean, kicked off last week with precipitation hitting the southern regions of the country, and expanding to the upper regions including Seoul by Monday. Daejeon, located in the center of Korea, has already received more than 268-millimeters of precipitation. Monsoon rain normally arrived in late June and ended around the first weeks of August. But in recent years, the rainy season has become unpredictable. "In the past, precipitation could be somewhat predicted. But not anymore. Even after the monsoon season ends, heavy showers dominate the forecast,… and severe rain storms have become much more frequent with sporadic, localized downpours. And numerous climate experts say this as a result of climate change.

" The expert says as climate change increases the average temperature, the amount of evaporation from land and different bodies of water increases, leading to faster condensation and eventually, more frequent precipitation. And this year, the rainfall is expected to be even more severe due to La Nina weather phenomenon. La Nina occurs when strong trade winds cause warm sea water to move to the west Pacific Ocean, lowering the temperature in the east Pacific. La Nina then causes draught in South America, while it brings severe rain to Asia. "When La Nina phenomenon is triggered, one effect on Korea is that there is less precipitation in the beginning of the summer but more towards the end. This year, the average amount of precipitation in July is expected to be less than average,…

whereas precipitation in August and September is expected to be similar or more than the amount in average years. With the monsoon pattern becoming more random and difficult to predict, experts call for measures to minimize the damage and impact of these abnormal weather conditions. "As the monsoon patterns change, weather forecasting becomes more difficult, which means there is less time to prepare against severe weather conditions. Thus we need to come up with different safety standards, especially when building structures." With the severe rain already taking a toll across the country, expert warns that both short and long-term preparations are needed, while the range of safety regulations against heavy downpours during the monsoon season needs to be widened. Lee Ji-won, Arirang News..

Korea expands support to United Nations Volunteers scheme

Korea and the United Nations have strengthened their partnership in sending out young volunteers to communities in need. Oh Soo-young sheds light on the continued effort to help achieve sustainable development around the world. South Korea aims to further its commitment to achieving peace and development around the world by expanding its support for the United Nations Volunteers scheme. The organization dispatches thousands of volunteers across 130 countries to work on core operations such as providing basic social services, peacebuilding; youth engagement; and national capacity development. The UNV’s Executive Director visited Seoul this week to strengthen the body’s partnership with South Korea. Over the last three decades, Seoul’s foreign ministry has steadily increased its annual contribution to the UNV– expected to reach almost three-point-two million U.S.

dollars this year. This would make South Korea the organization’s second largest donor,… in addition to being the number one provider of fully-funded volunteers. “There’s a very strong volunteer spirit in Korea which is linked to the country’s traditions. And I think Korea has seen the advantages of having young volunteers, specialist volunteers, as opportunities for Koreans to interact with the affairs with the world.” Since 1990, Korean volunteers have served on a wide variety of assignments such as climate change, education and capacity building. “My role was connecting subsistence farmers to the market by providing more input such as seedlings and facilities. Also, providing more capacity building such as education, and cooperative building, and so on. By doing so, the famers could generate more income to improve their lives.” In the face of numerous global challenges, such as the ongoing migrant and refugee crisis, social conflicts and climate change,..

. South Korea will double the number of its UNV volunteers to 50 this year. Many students and specialists are keen to lend a helping hand. “I have easy access to education, water and money but I believe there are people in desperate positions and I am willing to help them. I want to become a specialist to educate them to find out their opportunities that are hidden in their society.” The executive commissioner expressed hope that South Korea’s greater participation will reap strong progress in key areas of cooperation such as governance, security and climate change. Oh Soo-young, Arirang News..