An open-air market in Marrakesh, Morocco. The city is hosting November’s COP22 Climate Conference and decisions made there could shape its future. If the rising heat brought by global warming isn’t abated, then parts of North Africa could become inhabitable by mid-century, according to a 2016 study. Feliciano Guimarães licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
In preparing to cover my third consecutive United Nation’s Climate Summit — COP22 in Marrakesh, Morocco — I was able to call on a variety of new sources I made when in Bonn, Germany, at the mid-year summit last May. Among some officials, there is a tendency to let Marrakesh be something of a breather after the historic achievement at COP21 in Paris. The Paris Agreement, ratified with unprecedented haste, was the first time after 20 years of failure that 195 nations agreed to each do something about reducing their carbon footprint.
But Paris is simply a blue print. So much hard work remains. And we’ve already lost two decades to political inertia and denial. Thus, we have no time to waste. COP22 must exceeds expectations and begin delivering on the promise established in Paris. My story here explains why.
One third of the Peruvian population — 9 million people — live in Lima. Problem is, Lima is a desert. It does not rain there. At all. Lima depends on glacier melt for the sprawling city’s drinking water. Yet those Andean glaciers have shrunk by 30 percent due to global warming. On the evening of Dec. 1, 2015, the Triad’s top news anchor invited me on WGHP-TV to talk about the UN climate summit in Paris, I was more than happy to do so.