The Red Cross has released its World Disasters Report for 2020, entitled ‘Come Heat or High Water’. The central gist is that climate change is a bigger threat than the COVID-19 pandemic, given that – for example – more than 100 climate-related disasters have occurred since a pandemic was declared.
Here’s an executive summary, which includes stats that will surely shake even the hardiest of climate change deniers into action. The number of climate and weather related disasters has risen almost 35% since the ‘90s, apparently, with 1.7B people affected and over 400,000 people killed by these disasters over the past decade. The report, which focuses heavily on the humanitarian implications of the climate crisis, concludes with prospective solutions e.g. ‘smart financing’ and ‘climate-smart disaster risk government’.
As a case in point, let’s look at what’s happening in Southeast Asia right now. Typhoon Vamco was the 21st typhoon seen by the Philippines this year, and has triggered some of the worst flooding Manila has ever endured – further devastating a country already reeling from the exceptionally strong Typhoon Goni earlier this month. At least 80 people are dead or missing as of Monday, and following Vamco’s impact on Vietnam a few days ago, hundreds more cannot be accounted for.
The big ideas
Last Thursday, we saw another instalment of Maddyness x Ours to Save, with Maddyness publishing Jack Isaacs’ ‘Impact Investing: why private sector capital is vital in the climate fight’. We also looked into Facebook’s axing of Shell advertising.
Beyond this, have a look at the ideas and innovations from across the spectrum of politics, social justice and big business that caught my eye this week:
- The Professional Urban Planners Association of East Africa is planning on installing a million ecological toilets in rural Uganda by the end of the decade. The toilets can work without water – and users can ‘valorise the faecal matter by fertilising the soil.’
- The Oxford Net Zero initiative launched this week, and will see leading academics from across the university’s disciplines come together to work on climate solutions. “Aggressive emission reductions must be complemented by equally aggressive scale-up of safe and permanent greenhouse gas removal and disposal”, said Professor Myles Allen.
- Arsenal has become the first Premier League club to sign the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework. “We will continue to use the power and reach of Arsenal to inspire our global communities and push each other towards a more sustainable future,” said Operations Director Hywel Sloman.