Before the COP26 summit which is being held in the UK from the 31st October to the 12th November, the UK have announced a new plan aimed at reducing carbon emissions. The main concentration being increased funding into the transportation industry aimed at transforming toward electrical vehicles. Whether this will be a considerable change in the right direction or just another empty promise is obviously yet to be determined.
Earlier in the year the UK had plans to open a new coal mine which is quite contradictory to the COP26 summit that they are hosting this year. As the agenda of government and business is always difficult to determine without direct involvement in these areas, hopefully we can see more urgency and action from the COP26 summit being held at the end of this month.
A case study conducted on the islands of New Zealand have found that species which inhabit these islands are at risk of extinction due to causes such as the invasion of non-native species. The researchers also noted that conservation efforts must tackle indirect threats as these pose as much of a risk as the immediate threats. They warn that conservation efforts can easily be reversed or harmful conditions being exacerbated by global environmental change.
It has been found that the abundant and resilient seagrass which populates sea beds across the oceans are now at risk of depleting due to global warming. Studies and news articles have now made it abundantly clear that a foundation of many marine ecosystems is now at risk of disappearing due to the increasing temperature of the Earth and its atmosphere.
A recent study consisting of data from 62 sites globally has found that the conservation and restoration of land outweighs the benefits of using land for agriculture or logging. Although, they have stated that this did not provide greater net value across the board, conservation does benefit human prosperity overall.
‘as a compilation of the impacts of ACC, we find that in the UK since 2000, at least 1500 excess deaths are directly attributable to human-induced climate change, while in Puerto Rico the increased intensity of Hurricane Maria alone led to the deaths of up to 3670 people’ – Clarke, B. Otto, F. Jones, R. (2021)
This is alarming but not surprising given the increased amount of floods occurring in the UK. Furthermore, this demonstrates the direct and severe impact climate change can have on human life as well as the importance we must pay toward the environmental health of the planet.
This study should at least act as a wake up call for those still in denial and encourage those to think differently about the destructive lifestyles we have all taken for granted.
Scientists Warning Europe (SWE) have written a letter to UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, urging him to cut the carbon neutral target by 20 years to 2030. The letter was backed by 20 renowned scientists, involving people affiliated with UNFCC and the IPCC. Demonstrating that more is needed in these desperate times in order to prevent the worse case scenarios from happening in the coming years.
‘Even within the most intensive future anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission scenarios, higher levels are assessed to be unlikely. However, some studies conclude that considerably greater sea level rise could be realized, and a number of experts assign a substantially higher likelihood of such a future’
Stating further how predictions fall short from the reality of the situation.
‘We find that future projections estimated on climate model responses fall below extrapolation based on recent observational records. This comparison suggests that the likely upper level of sea level projections in recent IPCC reports would be too low’
This is troubling as this could mean we have less time than expected to reverse the temperature of the planet before sea levels rise to such a degree that a global amount of coastal areas are lost among other things.
Approximately 80,000 scientists from 7 continents have issued a statement urging world leaders to avoid further degradation of marine ecosystems.
The societies which these scientists are a part of has call on world leaders and the public to act and protect aquatic ecosystems which we all depend on. Stating that these ecosystems are now under more threat than ever before in human history. In their statement. experts in the environmental, social and economic sectors have collectively realised that we are heading toward a drastic environmental and humanitarian crisis.
The Bank of England has been criticised for funding carbon-intensive companies during the pandemic. The Environmental Audit Committee has stated that companies should disclose their climate related activities when receiving funding.
Many of the 230 companies which have received funding are said to produce a lot of carbon emissions. Since June 2020, it has been estimated that 56% of Covid funding has been allocated to high carbon sectors.
If you needed a more prominent reason to cut back on chocolate other than losing weight, deforestation and climate change is a valid enough reason to stop.
As of 2019, a news website published an article stating:
‘Back in 2009, Mars Inc., maker of M&M’s, Milky Way and other well-known staples of the chocolate space, publicly promised to switch entirely to sustainable cocoa. In the past decade, however, deforestation has only accelerated’
‘the continued deforestation only serves to further tarnish the reputation of chocolate brands already under fire for ongoing child labor practices in West African cocoa fields’
I feel the awareness around this topic is not as well known as many people believe which is troubling. Furthermore, a study investigated illegal deforestation and cocoa farming, they found:
‘Thirteen of 23 protected areas surveyed have lost all primate populations’
‘unless illegal cocoa farming is similarly controlled, even effective enforcement of anti-hunting laws will not prevent the loss of additional primate diversity, since habitats capable of supporting primate populations – including those within protected areas – will no longer exist’
This is an issue as with many luxuries which are abundant in developed countries, not many people tend to question where or how these luxuries make it to our shops. Therefore, in order to preserve the biodiversity of our planet more needs to be done internationally to protect these areas which are now becoming few and far between due to continuous profiteering efforts.