Climate change is feeding poverty, instability, hunger and violence in the Lake Chad basin.
On 13 September, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed the Security Council on the Secretary-General’s 7 September report on the situation in Lake Chad Basin region (S/2017/764). The Council requested the report in resolution 2349, which it adopted on 31 March following its visiting mission to the Lake Chad Basin in early March.
As global temperatures rise, warmer air and oceans are expected to fuel stronger hurricanes, with dangerous consequences.
The consequences of Houston’s historic inundation, in deaths and dollars, are nowhere near fully tallied. Indeed, the economic costs will take months to calculate, and years to overcome.
The impacts of Hurricane Harvey continue to be felt in the southern US. The events have sparked early debate over the links between the hurricane and climate change. Commentary from scientists suggests that warming is likely to have intensified its impact. Nevertheless, many other factors are likely to have played a role. These include Houston’s population explosion, continued building in flood-prone areas and subsidence due to groundwater over-extraction, media reports suggest.
Top officials from Canada, Mexico and the US are now renegotiating the 23-year old North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). On the campaign trail, candidate Trump consistently called NAFTA “the worst trade deal ever,” and, in one of his first official acts as president, he signed an executive order to renegotiate the agreement. The first round has just ended, so we are about to get an important clue about the direction of travel of climate diplomacy and policy in Canada, Mexico and the US.
Rapid population growth can impede efforts to combat poverty, particularly in places where environmental disasters and climate changes damage livelihoods. Lesotho is an example of how fragile the future seems for Africa, large parts of which face the prospect of new famine and, in consequence, further catastrophic displacement within and among their growing populations.
One of the most pressing—and distressing—climate change impacts faced by the world is storm surge, a storm-induced increase in water level exceeding normal, tidal levels. Storm surge is becoming more of a threat to coastal communities due to rising sea levels, since higher sea levels mean higher “normal, tidal levels” before surge even occurs. Affected communities face risks to their homes, infrastructure, and livelihoods, but what can we do about the problem, aside from abandoning coastal communities altogether?