‘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.


King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology unveils self-guided Black Shark boat at 38th GITEX Technology Week

The development of the Black Shark smart boat is part of a KACST initiative to localize and transform transport technology and logistics, to help achieve the aims of Vision 2030. (SPA)
Updated 20 October 2018
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King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology unveils self-guided Black Shark boat at 38th GITEX Technology Week

  • These trucks are equipped with electronic pairing technologies, which effectively improve the shipping and distributing of goods, reduce human error

JEDDAH: King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) has unveiled its Black Shark self-guided boat at the 38th GITEX Technology Week in Dubai. The vessel, which can carry out coastal surveillance and many other tasks, was developed in collaboration with Taqnia for Robotics and Smart Systems.
The development of the craft is part of a KACST initiative to localize and transform transport technology and logistics, to help achieve the aims of Vision of 2030.
The boat includes sensor systems that allow it to monitor and create a 3D map of a 200-meter area surrounding the boat, and automated control technology that gives it the ability to navigate independently and avoid collisions without human input. It can also be equipped with a flexible range of weapons, acting as a firearms platform that uses gyroscopic self-balancing technology. It has the ability to survey beaches at a range of 15 kilometers, in addition to accurately identifying its precise location with a margin of error of less than 20 centimeters using differential GPS, as well as specifying, monitoring and tracking targets.
The Black Shark also has long-range radar that covers up to 150 kilometers, and a telecommunication system to track its location, monitor its status and connect to multiple domains through command centers that allow wireless communication and remote control. It is fitted with a digital camera powered by electro-optic and infrared technology that can produce HD-quality video, and also has night vision capability.
As part of its initiative to develop transport technology and logistics, KACST has also worked on automated control technology, included self-driving heavy-duty trucks, with the University of California, Berkeley. These trucks are equipped with electronic pairing technologies, which effectively improve the shipping and distributing of goods, reduce human error, preserve resources, and reduce harmful emissions and fuel consumption.
The same technology can also, for example, transform a four-wheel-drive vehicle into a remote-controlled vehicle equipped with video cameras, infrared technology, a microphone and a control device wirelessly connected to a command center, where an operator can guide it using images from the video cameras.