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Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

The UN is worried about climate apartheid

Philip Alston, a UN expert on human rights claims that the world will soon face the risk of climate apartheid, as we are progressing towards a future in which only the rich will have the opportunity to escape the negative consequences of global warming while the poor suffer from the heat and famines.

Alston believes that the threat is already massive, and urgent measures would be required to ensure that climate change does not corrode the foundations of democracy and the rule of law, that it does not overwrite fundamental human rights such as the right to a home or the right to water and food. Growing inequalities and scarcity can easily elicit nationalist, xenophobic and racist responses.

He is sharply critical of everyone working on human rights who fails
to make climate change a central issue (including his own previous work).

He thinks that the most recent resolution of the UN Commission on Human Rights on the climate crisis is deficient, as it does not deal with the fact that human rights are fundamentally threatened by the situation. He believes international climate treaties are also ineffective, as our only hope of avoiding the catastrophe now lies in an urgent and profound social and economic transformation that guarantees the rights and improves the living conditions of the poorest.

Alston sees the student strikes and activism such as that of Greta Thunberg as positive developments Photo: Shutterstock
Further information: The Guardian

Hundreds of Australian towns face water crisis

Up to 180 thousand people may be left without drinking water due to the severe drought.

Water shortage threatens the Panama Canal

Extreme drought is putting one of the world’s most important trade routes at risk.

Extremely low water levels on the River Maros

The characteristic sand banks of the river have grown larger, some branches have dried out completely.

Millions left without water in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare, shut down its main water works on 23 September citing shortages of foreign currency to import chemicals required for water treatment. The situation may not only lead to a severe water shortage for the population, but also increases the risks of diseases carried by contaminated water, such as cholera.

European farming could suffer 16 percent loss by 2050 due to climate change

A comprehensive report by the European Environment Agency claims that over the next 30 years, agricultural yields could drop by up to 16 percent in Europe due to the phenomena accompanying climate change.

One of the driest and warmest summers in Germany

This year’s was the third hottest summer in Germany since the beginning of regular meteorological records in 1881, according to preliminary data from the Federal Meteorological Service.

Sad pictures of a lake that disappears in Chile

In 2011, Laguna de Aculeo, one of the country’s favourite bathing resorts, still covered 12 square kilometres, and the lake was 6 metres deep – but since then, it has completely dried out.

One billion tonnes of carbon dioxide released into the air in Africa

The problem of the water shortages caused by global warming is much more complex than we have thought. In some parts of Africa, people not only need to face thirst but also the fact that the regions impacted by drought emit a quantity of carbon dioxide equivalent to the emissions of two hundred million cars each year.

UN report: climate change could cause global famine

According to a new report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that focuses on the interaction between climate change, desertification and food security, if present land use habits are maintained, the planet’s capacity to produce food will drop drastically.

European Union aid for drought-stricken Africa

The EU is contributing a further 50 million euro to alleviate drought damage in a number of Eastern and Central African countries. According to estimates, more than 4 million children and about 3 million pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are undernourished in the region.

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