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The world is ‘standing on the precipice’ of a number of crises, former UN chief warns

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Former U.N. Secretary-Common Ban Ki-moon has spoken of the a number of disasters the world is presently dealing with, which have solely been accentuated by the continued coronavirus pandemic. 

Ban, who led the U.N. from 2007-2016, known as on world leaders to lift their ambition with a view to keep away from failures on a variety of various points, together with local weather change and the shortage of water.

“There are nonetheless 2 billion individuals who lack protected ingesting water, greater than 1.5 billion individuals who don’t have electrical energy and there are greater than 60 million schoolchildren who don’t go to high school, even elementary college … That is unhappy, that is actually heartbreaking,” Ban informed CNBC’s “Sustainable Future” in March, talking round World Water Day.

“We’re standing on the precipice of all these crises … I hope that world leaders ought to have far-reaching world visions, that we’re on this world collectively, we’re all on this collectively, in any other case, we’ll all be a failure. Due to this fact, I am actually urging political leaders to do their finest, lead by instance,” he added. 

Ban stated the approaching 10 years can be crucially necessary for world leaders to work on the U.N.’s Sustainable Growth Objectives. These are 17 targets created by the New York-based group that are a name for motion on financial, social and environmental sustainability by the 12 months 2030.

Narrowing it down, he stated that the continued Covid-19 disaster had additional highlighted the affect of a world water scarcity.

“The pandemic in fact has thrown a highlight on this challenge and it has additionally actually demonstrated that water is a connecting thread linking the myriad of impacts of our crises, whether or not that is round infectious ailments or meals safety, the final 12 months has seen us expertise all of them,” he stated.

“When trillions of {dollars} are being spent for controlling the coronavirus, I believe we have to see a much bigger, greater image, investing correctly in water, that may actually assist our life. That is one of the necessary pressing objects of (the) Sustainable Growth Objectives now,” he added.

Ban was talking alongside the CEO of the World Heart for Adaptation, Patrick Verkooijen. Ban can also be the chair of the GCA, which describes itself as a “options dealer to speed up, innovate and scale adaptation motion for a climate-resilient world.”

Verkooijen informed CNBC that the pandemic had been a “wake-up name.” “We’re completely unprepared for the subsequent disaster, the local weather emergency … 90% of all pure disasters are water associated, extra floods, extra droughts, extra storms, extra fires. Within the final twenty years, these local weather disasters have doubled. Half 1,000,000 individuals misplaced their lives and over 2 trillion in financial losses,” he stated.

“In 2017, three storms price america financial system $265 billion. Final 12 months in 2020, one storm, over $55 billion in financial losses. I believe (U.S. Particular Presidential Envoy for Local weather) John Kerry stated it very nicely, we’ve now crossed the purpose that investing in prevention is way more efficient than cleansing up afterwards. That is why investing in water and local weather adaptation is the best way to go,” he added.

Ban, who led efforts for the signing of the Paris Settlement for Local weather Change in 2015, stated that motion on addressing all these points wanted to be sped up.

“Now we have to actually expedite and lift the ambition stage significantly by political leaders … Individuals know that local weather change is essential, very severe and wishes pressing motion,” informed CNBC.

“However on the identical time, we’ve to handle all of the meals shortages and gender empowerment, water shortages, high quality schooling, resilient cities.”

Former UN Secretary Common Ban Ki-Moon.

Thomas Trutschel | Photothek | Getty Pictures