Issue Brief on “UN Climate Action: Promises vs. Reality”

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Climate change is the leading environmental concern for the global community today. The way scientists and policymakers define global environmental problems is complex, ranging from systemic to cumulative.[1] Systemic environmental issues are those that occur because of a change in the global system, like greenhouse gas emissions which impact the whole world. On the other hand, global environmental problems can also be labelled as cumulative, which occur across the globe but are not necessarily linked to a global system. 

Despite the devastation caused by climate disasters around the globe, such as the wildfires in Greece and the devastation caused by floods in Pakistan in 2022, countries in the Global North are yet to respond with the urgency that is needed. The progress towards addressing these issues has been unhurried at best. In addition, the Russian-Ukraine war has made countries, such as the United Kingdom backtrack on their pledges to reduce emissions by restarting some of their closed coal-fired power stations to meet their domestic demand.[2] Hence, further slowing down whatever progress was made since the signing of the Kyoto Protocol.

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