2019: A Year in Review

By IPS World Desk
Dec 16 2019 (IPS)

2019 will be remembered as the year the climate crisis shook us
all. Hopefully, it will also be remembered for the fight back
manifested in the spread of mass protests and civic movements
against governments and industries failing to respond.Calls to
combat climate change rang in the ears of delegates from nearly 200
countries at the annual UN climate summit in Madrid. But the heads
of government or state of the world’s largest polluters were
notably absent, including the United States, China and Russia.

As planetary temperatures have risen, a landmark report by the
IPBES warned that more than a million animal and plant species are
now threatened with extinction – many within decades. This twin
challenge has far-reaching consequences and the ramifications of
complacency have started to show.



The expanding Sahara Desert is breaking up families and
spreading conflict. More than 50 million people across Southern,
Eastern and Central Africa are facing a hunger crisis because of
extreme weather conditions. And in the Pacific, small Island States
are sinking beneath rising sea levels.

Irregular migration is rising and has driven thousands to their
deaths. Human Traffickers are exploiting this exodus and are
contributing to the second largest criminal economy on the planet,
with an alarming 40 million people enslaved around the world.
According to the UN Refugee Agency, 70 million people in the world
are currently displaced by conflict, and the response of many
countries has been to erect walls.

The SDG’s made a solemn promise to eradicate hunger and
extreme poverty by 2030, and that cannot be achieved unless the
world’s smallholder farmers can adapt to climate change. However,
the SDG’s are in trouble and the UN’s Secretary General has
issued a clear warning: a “much deeper, faster and more ambitious
response is needed to unleash the social and economic
transformation needed to achieve our 2030 goals.”

As inspired by Swedish Teenager Greta Thunberg and others, youth
is the new face of global activism. It is imperative that we follow
their lead to secure the future they will inherit, and pay heed to
Secretary General Antonio Guterres warning: “Do we really want to
be remembered as the generation that buried its head in the sand,
that fiddled while the planet burned?”


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Source: FS – All – Ecology – News
2019: A Year in Review