Source: CNN Opinion
On July 17th 2021, Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen’s opinion was released on CNN regarding the dangers of extreme heat.
Chairman Ban stresses the importance of mitigation to the continuing hostility of climate change around the world. He states how, “extreme heat is seen to be less violent compared to earthquakes or hurricanes, but from 2015 to 2019, it has killed more people than any other weather hazard.” Heat waves are becoming more frequent and intense due to accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Chairman Ban also emphasizes that not only is the mitigation of climate change essential and extremely urgent, but learning to adapt to its ongoing effects is just as critical. As extreme heat is becoming the norm, the need for sustainable urban planning, such as lighter color and water-retaining paving options for roads, are essential.
Although fighting climate change is a responsibility given to all countries, developing countries are in need of more support of financing for adaptation. It is unfair to see developing countries that are low on the list of global polluters but are among the countries more vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Beyond the moral obligation of developed countries to help the most vulnerable nations cope with extreme weather, what is at stake is not just the implementation of the Paris Agreement’s goals, but the ability of humanity to survive on our fast-warming planet.