Biodiversity and climate change are not separate issues, and if we are to protect the first one we must address the second, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said this week during the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in New York. The event – organised by the Secretariat of the UN Biodiversity Convention (CBD) – underscored opportunities that nature provides for human development and the global economy.
People fly to the moon, they install equipment on Mars or distant planets, but no scientist was ever able to prevent a thunderstorm. How could one explain these unsettling light and thunder rumbles? Scientists know a bit of whatever it is that happens up there, but not everything, because thunderstorms are highly complicated.
Every day, we are fully immersed in the weather systems that surround us. Over sustained periods of time it is these same weather systems that lead, ultimately, to broader changes in our climate. Climate change, therefore, is just our everyday weather experiences colliding with a broader, global reality.
Climate change presents the single biggest threat to sustainable development everywhere and its widespread, unprecedented impacts disproportionately burden the poorest and most vulnerable.
Urgent action to halt climate change and deal with its impacts is integral to the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).