Saffran Mihnar is youth climate activists, empowering young people in the field of climate change and sustainable development. He has contributed to the national and international youth platforms and communication at UNFCCC Sessions from since COP21 as well as several others international conferences such as One Planet Summit, European Conference on Science Journalism, EuroScience Open Forums and High-level Meeting on “Climate and Sustainable Development for All”. Saffran Mihnar has also been awarded as the most outstanding global leader for the success and contribution towards Global Youth Power Campaign launched by Restless Development.
Saffran Mihnar currently serves as the director for development and communication for a youth-led organization named EarthLanka Youth Network. He will be attending the UN Youth Climate Summit in September.
Born and raised in a beautiful island country, vulnerable to the impact of climate change, I grew up witnessing the devastating impacts of unprecedented natural disasters due to the rise of global warming. The land and the ocean that used to give us food are no longer able to fulfil our needs. Over the last century, the oceans have been warming at an increased rate, which has caused a devastating impact on aquatic life.
Saffran speaking on the issue of Climate Change
Climate change has also created mass migration around the world. People are forced to leave their homes because of extreme weather conditions such as flooded coastlines, areas of extreme natural disasters, drought and water scarcity. Since 2008, extreme weather has displaced 22.5 million people according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. By 2050, climate change will force 700 million people to emigrate.
Since the late 90s, unpredictable weather conditions have cost trillions of dollars. The world’s leading Scientists estimated that, If temperatures rose to 2 degrees or more, global GDP would fall 25%. If nothing is done, temperatures will rise by 4 degrees by 2100. This will cause Global GDP to decline by more than 30% from 2010 levels. To put that in perspective, that would be worse than the economic recession, where global trade fell 25%. The difference would be this time the effect cannot be reversed.
It is estimated by the UNCCD that around 12 million hectares of productive land are lost to desertification, land degradation and drought each year. As a result of desertification, 135 million people may be displaced by 2045.
The IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land, concludes that the dryland population, vulnerable to water stress, drought intensity and habitat degradation, could reach 178 million people by 2050. To avert such a scenario, the report calls for “prompt action” on climate mitigation. It estimates that the costs of upfront investments in sustainable land management (SLM) practices and technologies could range from as little as 20 to 500 dollars per hectare.
Today Globalization has had many effects, especially due to technology development. On one hand, it has helped to develop a more advanced economy, with all the innovative and technological processes that go with it. On the other hand, globalisation has also produced and caused unwanted by-products, known as pollution, and depleted natural resources to the detriment of the earth’s environment.
The world economy should focus on shifting towards green investment during the development process, moving from fossil fuel and nuclear resources towards a sustainable energy transition.
As we all know, the world has reached the top rungs of the technology which has created a new pathway that could produce electricity in an effective and efficient way. Energy resources such as sustainable-used biomass and other renewable types of energy should be produced. Moving toward a zero-carbon neutral world should be a focus for us in the next 10 to 20 years.
The world is running out of time, If we don’t take immediate actions and raise our ambitions towards the Paris Agreement, I’m afraid that we will lose the battle against climate change. right now we’re going in the wrong direction. We are in ClimateEmergency and running out of time.
The Clock has started ticking towards the last breath for our mother earth!