Deadly floods in Pakistan and record heat in the UK were just two symptoms this year of the global crisis
Dangerous heatwaves also engulfed parts of China, Europe, and the US, with scientists saying a northern hemisphere summer as hot as 2022 would have been “virtually impossible” without global heating, and led to a record drought. In the UK, temperatures rose above 40C for the first time, obliterating records and shocking scientists.
In the US, Hurricane Ian became the most deadly hurricane since Katrina in 2005, while the American west continued to struggle with the most extreme megadrought in at least 1,200 years. In Australia, hot seas led to the Great Barrier Reef suffering its fourth mass bleaching in just seven years. Flooding also struck around the world, including Nigeria, Australia, Thailand and Vietnam, and Venezuela.
In August, a Guardian analysis revealed how people across the world are losing their lives and livelihoods to heatwaves, floods, wildfires and droughts, all made more deadly and more frequent by the climate crisis. Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s climate minister, said in September: “This dystopia is on our doorstep; it’s going to be next in their country [in the global north]. If you’re not understanding that it’s right here, right now, then you’re really sleepwalking into annihilation.”
The super-rich should be forced to pay an extra tax each time they fly on “hugely damaging” private jets to help fund better and cleaner public transport, a charity has said.
The Campaign for Better Transport (CfBT) called on the government to introduce a “super tax” on private jet travel, saying it is “about time that these individuals started paying for the damage their flights cause and the proceeds used to help improve public transport for communities up and down the country”.
The charity said private jets are between five and 14 times more polluting than commercial flights and 50 times more polluting than taking a train. They argue that a “super rate of air passenger duty (APD)” should be applied to account for the damage caused to the planet. The CfBT also called on the government to strip private flights of their current VAT-free status.
Elite minority of frequent flyers ’cause most of aviation’s climate damage’
An “elite minority” of frequent flyers cause most of the climate damage resulting from aviation’s emissions, according to an environmental charity.
The report, which collates data from the countries with the highest aviation emissions, shows a worldwide pattern of a small group taking a large proportion of flights, while many people do not fly at all.
In the US, 12% of people took 66% of all flights, while in France 2% of people took half of the flights, the report says. In China 5% of households took 40% of flights and in India just 1% of households took 45% of all the flights.
It was already known that 10% of people in England took more than half of all international flights in 2018. A global study reported by the Guardian in November found that frequent-flying “super emitters” who represent just 1% of the world’s population caused half of aviation’s carbon emissions in 2018. Almost 90% of the world’s population did not fly at all that year.
The data published by the Commission for Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs does not include all the children arrested by Israeli occupation forces this year, which, according to some sources, is above 750December 27, 2022 by Peoples Dispatch
More than 600 Palestinian children were kept under house arrest by Israeli occupation forces in 2022, according to the Commission for Detainees’ and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs, a prisoners’ rights body, which issued a statement on Monday, December 26. Minors were detained by the Israeli state for periods ranging between a few days and, in some cases, years, Wafa news agency reported.
The detained children are not allowed to move freely, or even go to school without an escort. They are also forced to wear tracking devices throughout the detention period.
The commission describes two kinds of detention of Palestinian children. One is in which the child stays with their family while an Israeli court decides on the case. This often takes months, and the family is often forced to pay a heavy amount as surety. To access such large sums of money, families often have to take loans or sell their property. In the second category, Israeli forces make Palestinian families take their children outside the city or town during the period of the trial, and arrange for their own stay there while the court decides the matter.
The commission notes that such Israeli detention leaves prolonged physiological effects on both the children and their families. It deprives the children of their right to education and creates a constant feeling of fear, anxiety, and deprivation.
Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children violates the provisions of international humanitarian law, which specifically addresses protecting the interests of children while setting the conditions of their detention.
Until 2009, when Military Order 1644 was promulgated by Israel in the West Bank, Israeli courts would try Palestinian children as young as 12 in the same courts as adults, and with no specific protections in place. Military Order 1644, however, set up separate military courts for the trials of children, and determined the Palestinian age of maturity to be 16. Israel does not classify Palestinians over the age of 16 as children, despite the age of maturity for Israelis being 18 years.
Deadly year for Palestinian children
At least 54 Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the occupied territories in 2022. Out of these, 35 were killed in the occupied West Bank, and 19 in the occupied Gaza strip. At least 958 Palestinian children were wounded by Israeli forces or settlers across the occupied territories in the same period, and over 750 have been arrested or detained.
At least 150 Palestinian children, below the age of 18, are in different Israeli prisons serving various sentences.
Some sources quote a higher number of children killed by Israeli forces this year in the West Bank. According to Defense of Children-Palestine, one of several Palestinian human rights groups the Israeli government has branded as “terrorists” and banned, “Israeli forces repeatedly and systematically shoot to kill Palestinian children in violation of international law.” It claims that 13 Palestinian children were killed in Jenin alone this year.
The youngest Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces was 7-year-old Rayan Suleiman. He was being chased by Israeli forces, who were threatening to arrest him near Bethlehem, when he died of cardiac arrest.
2022 was also the deadliest year for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since 2005, when the UN started recording daily deaths. According to the UN, more than 166 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank this year.
Jenin, in the northern occupied West Bank, has been particularly targeted by occupation forces this year under the so-called “break the wave” operations launched in March. In near daily raids, Israeli forces have killed 59 Palestinians in Jenin alone this year.
Apart from Israeli armed forces, illegal settlers in the occupied West Bank have also killed at least four Palestinians this year, and carried out numerous attacks on Palestinian villages, their farm lands, and their businesses.
2022 will be warmest year ever for UK, Met Office says
The Met Office has said 2022 will be the warmest year on record for the UK.
According to provisional figures, every month was hotter than average, with the exception of December when the UK experienced a notable cold snap.
The year’s average temperature will likely beat the previous all-time high of 9.88C, set in 2014.
Dr Mark McCarthy, a senior climate scientist at the Met Office, said the provisional figures are in line with the “genuine impacts we expect as a result of human-induced climate change”.
“Although it doesn’t mean every year will be the warmest on record, climate change continues to increase the chances of increasingly warm years over the coming decades,” Dr McCarthy added.
Met Office forecasts 2023 will be hotter than 2022
Next year will be warmer than this one, and one of the hottest on record, the UK Met Office is forecasting.
Predictions suggest it will be the 10th year in a row the global temperature is at least 1C above average.
The Met Office explained that a cooling effect known as La Niña will likely end after being in place for three years – part of a natural weather cycle.
It also noted the warming impact of human-induced climate change.
Scientific evidence shows that climate change is driving up the global temperature.
Britain’s National Trust on Wednesday said nature and wildlife at the charity’s sites had been harmed by extreme weather in the past year and warned it could become the “new normal”.
The heritage conservation charity’s climate change adviser Keith Jones said it was a “stark illustration of the sort of difficulties many of our species will face if we don’t do more to mitigate rising temperatures”.
“We’re going to experience more floods, droughts, heatwaves, extreme storms and wildfires –- and they will go from bad to worse, breaking records with ever alarming frequency if we don’t limit our carbon emissions,” he said.
The planet currently remains off track from an ambition set by the Paris climate accord in 2015 to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
BP has been accused of prioritising fossil fuels over green energy as it plans to spend as much as double the amount on oil and gas projects than on renewable investments next year.
The FTSE 100 company has earmarked up to $7.5bn (£6.2bn) for oil and gas projects, compared with a range of $3bn to $5bn for green energy.
BP expects to increase spending on “resilient hydrocarbons” – oil and gas, refining and bioenergy projects – by up to $1bn in 2023.
In 2021 the company’s capital expenditure was $12.8bn and it expected to spend $14bn-15bn this year, and then $14bn-16bn a year between 2023 and 2025.
Within this, investment into “resilient hydrocarbons” will increase from $9bn in 2022 to “$9bn to $10bn a year” from 2023 to 2025, including $7.5bn a year on oil and gas projects.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has never ceased to warn about the impending hazards of climate change worldwide. “We are on a fast track to climate disaster,” he has predicted rather ominously and pointed out that some of the world’s major cities are under water.
Announcing a “Climate Ambition Summit”, scheduled to take place in September 2023, he is aiming at generating “new, tangible and credible climate action” to “accelerate action at the mid-way point” of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Going forward, he will push for a “Climate Solidarity Pact”, for all big emitters to “make an extra effort” to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with the 1.5°C goal and provide support for those who need it.
Describing the proposed meeting of world leaders as “a no-nonsense summit, he said there would be “No exceptions. No compromises.”
“There will be no room for back-sliders, green-washers, blame-shifters or re-packaging of announcements of previous years.”
Protest group Last Generation said two of its members used a hydraulic lift and a hand saw to cut two metres off the top of the 15-metre tree and hang up a banner.
The banner read: “This is only the tip of the Christmas tree.”
In a statement, the group said it wanted to highlight that Germany is so far only seeing the “tip” of the climate catastrophe happening around the world.
Leztze Generation is Germany’s version of Just Stop Oil – a climate group engaging in direct action. They have blocked roads and airport runways and attacked a Claude Monet painting (protected behind glass) with mashed potato.
I’m intending to go sailing in 3 months time while I’m still able to.
I got hassled by one of my followers a few months ago, saying essentially that he relies heavily on me to fight for climate. I have support from many different ‘populations’. I reached out to one of those ‘populations’ recently asking if they had a plan to address the climate crisis. The answer was affirmative but the problem is that it was only later that I realised that their plan was me. I expect to abandon that responsibility while so many people can’t even be bothered to object to getting so shafted.