Opinion » Columnists

Global Warming: 1 million species at risk

UN report warns that if the Protocol of Kyoto is not respected, 1 million species will die and consequently, the livelihoods of many people will be lost

If Greenhouse Effect Gases (GEG) are not reduced in line with the provisions of the Protocol of Kyoto, up to one million species may die, warns the United Nations Environment Programme.

The report, issued last week and published in science magazine Nature, states that global warming may have catastrophic consequences in the near future. "If one million species become extinct as a result of global warming, it is not just the plant and animal kingdoms and the beauty of the planet that will suffer," stated UNEP executive director Klaus Toepfer.

The UN report presented the results of studies performed in six regions, covering 20% of the Earth's surface and concluded that between 15 and 37% of all species in these regions are threatened with extinction if the mid-range climate warming predicted takes place between now and 2050.

The report adds that is a minimum-range climate warming takes place, then between 15 to 20% of all land species can be saved from extinction.

Klaus Toepfer stated that not only animals and plants, but people, are also at risk, among these being the most vulnerable:"Billions of people, especially in the developing world, will suffer too as they rely on nature for such essential goods and services as food, shelter and medicines. Many developing countries also rely on nature-based tourism to generate much-needed foreign exchange earnings".

As usual, it is the defenseless or the weak that have to suffer the consequences of the irresponsible or selfish. While tens of billions of dollars have been wasted in the last twelve months on an illegal war in which acts of mass murder were perpetrated, nothing is done to secure the future of the planet for generations to come. We must collectively be the most irresponsible generation ever to have existed.

 

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY
PRAVDA.Ru

 

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