‘Umbrella in a hurricane’: UN says climate funding far too low

File photo showing Houstion,Texas after Hurricane Harvey, Aug 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 02 May 2018
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‘Umbrella in a hurricane’: UN says climate funding far too low

  • Worldwide investments in limiting climate change are far too low and as flimsy as using an umbrella in a hurricane, the UN climate chief says
  • She urged far more investments to limit global warming, by shifting from fossil fuels toward cleaner energy

UNITED NATIONS: Worldwide investments in limiting climate change are far too low and as flimsy as using an umbrella in a hurricane, the United Nations climate chief Patricia Espinosa said on Wednesday.
Espinosa, a former Mexican foreign minister, also told delegates from almost 200 nations meeting in Germany that more storms, droughts and floods linked to man-made greenhouse gas emissions threatened “global destabilization.”
She urged far more investments to limit global warming, by shifting from fossil fuels toward cleaner energy, and to protect people from the worsening effects of extreme weather.
“Trying to address climate change at current financing levels is like walking into a Category 5 hurricane protected by only an umbrella,” she said in a speech.
“Right now we are talking in millions and billions of dollars when we should be speaking in trillions,” said Espinosa, who is head of the UN Climate Change Secretariat. “The impacts of extreme weather are already creating chaos.”
Nations at the April 30-May 10 meeting in Bonn are working on a detailed rule book for the 2015 Paris Agreement, aiming to have it in place by the end of 2018, and are reviewing actions so far to limit global warming.
Developing nations at the talks want firmer guarantees of funds — rich nations have promised to mobilize $100 billion a year in climate finance, from both public and private sources, by 2020 to help them tackle warming.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has estimated that climate finance for the poor totalled $62 billion in 2014. Developing nations say the accounts are exaggerated.
“There remains a vast gap between the support needed and support received,” Gebru Jember Endalew, who chairs the least developed nations group, said in a statement.
Espinosa said average world surface temperatures were set to rise by 3.0 degrees Celsius (5.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times, based on current commitments to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
The Paris Agreement seeks to limit warming to “well below” a 2C rise. US President Donald Trump, who doubts climate change is primarily man-made, plans to quit the Paris pact and instead promote domestic fossil fuels.
Espinosa said a three degree rise “will lead to nothing less than global destabilization. It will cost lives. It will raise competition over resources, it will increase instability and conflict.”
Inia Seruiratu, Fiji’s agriculture minister who is tasked with driving more ambitious action to meet Paris Agreement targets, said countries face limits on how much they can adapt to coming changes — such as worsening cyclones.
“We live in constant fear that a direct hit from intensifying cyclones could wipe out our economy altogether and set back our development by decades,” he said in Bonn.


Saudi team develops payload for use in joint lunar exploration with Chinese Space Agency

Engineers and researchers at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology display the payload they have developed after months of painstaking research and testing. (SPA)
Updated 21 May 2018
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Saudi team develops payload for use in joint lunar exploration with Chinese Space Agency

  • The joint exploration is in line with a memorandum of understanding concluded between China and Saudi Arabia during King Salman's visit to Beijing in mid-March 2017,
  • Under the agreement, the Saudi side will build a payload for a space censoring system for use in filming and take photos of the moon.

JEDDAH: Saudi engineers and researchers have completed work on a payload for a Chinese space vehicle that will explore the moon, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.
The joint exploration is in line with a memorandum of understanding concluded between China and Saudi Arabia during King Salman's visit to Beijing in mid-March 2017, the SPA said, quoting Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, president of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).
The joint venture intends to study and explore the moon, "particularly the invisible side of it to provide scientific data for researchers and specialist in space research and science."
As agreed upon by the KACST and the Chinese Space Agency, the Saudi side will build a payload for a space sensory system for use in filming and take photos of the moon.
"The payload was readied in a record time of no more than 12 months during which the Saudi research team faced numerous challenges, most prominent of which was the importance of manufacturing a compact payload with a high capacity of less than 10.5 cu.cm and a weight of no more than 630 grams on the Chinese satellite," the KACST head said.
The payload consists of photographic and data processing units, among others, that is not only light in weight but also able to endure the space environment.
The equipment is capable of taking photos from different angles and altitudes that varies according to the lunar orbit changes, Prince Turki was quoted by the SPA as saying.
"Saudi Arabia's taking part in this great event would boost, no doubt, its efforts to develop its satellite technologies and use it in several fields of reconnaissance and distance censoring as well as space telecommunications, in addition to proceeding with the march of catching the world race in this field," he said.