Yangon youth take to streets against climate change

The UN's "Climate Action Summit 2019" is scheduled today in New York.  Southeast Asia is among the regions of the world most affected by the phenomenon.  Because of its effects, more than 70 people have died in Myanmar during this year's monsoon season and about 200,000 have been displaced.



Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Hundreds of young people marched yesterday along the streets of downtown Yangon, joining the international protest movement "Global Climate Strike".  Southeast Asia is one of the regions most affected by climate change.

At least 200 protesters gathered in front of the Bogyoke market and marched towards the Sule Pagoda and Maha Bandoola Park, opposite the Yangon town hall.  They carried placards asking for a concerted effort by the government and industry to deal with the global crisis;  they urge the executive to end large infrastructure projects, such as the Myitsone dam in the State of Kachin, which could harm the environment. 

Due to the effects of climate change, more than 70 people died in Myanmar during this year's monsoon season and about 200,000 were displaced by floods and landslides.  According to the global climate risk index 2019, in the last two decades Myanmar  has been one of the three countries most affected by storms, floods and heat waves.

More than 60 world leaders take part today in the "Climate Action Summit 2019", organized by the United Nations (UN) in New York.  António Guterres, UN secretary general, invited them to present "concrete and realistic plans" to improve their countries' contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions: the goal set by the organization is to reduce them by 45% in the next decade, to reach zero emissions by 2050.

Scientists warn that climate change will lead to more frequent and intense heat waves, droughts, floods and other extreme weather conditions.  The latest report by the World Meteorological Organization reveals that the global average temperature for the 2015-2019 five-year period is on track to become the highest ever.  The period "is currently estimated at 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial era (1850-1900) and 0.2 degrees warmer than in 2011-2015," the document reads.

The 2015 Paris agreement ruled that signatory nations had to set national targets to reduce their emissions;  this in order to limit the long-term temperature increase by less than two degrees or - even better - by 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.  These are benchmarks that would significantly limit the impact of warming on global weather systems.  But even if all countries achieve their goals, the world will warm up from 2.9 degrees to 3.4 degrees by 2100, which is likely to bring catastrophic changes.