I have just arrived in Bonn, Germany to attend the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) being held here for the next two weeks. The annual COP takes place in November or December each year and is hosted by a country in a different continent each time.
The recent succession of hurricanes in the Caribbean and floods in South Asia have taken the world over the tipping point in acknowledging that human induced climate change is not only real but is happening already.
Of course there are still some deniers like US President Donald Trump and his environment chief Pruitt, but they lack credibility.
In the past week, there have been devastating floods in Houston, Texas in the United States of America as well as in Nepal, India and Bangladesh, not to mention China as well.
Although these events occurred in very different parts of the planet and each had somewhat unique causes and circumstances, nevertheless, their severity can now credibly be linked to human induced climate change that has already raised global mean atmospheric temperatures above one degree Centigrade since pre-industrial times.
I am writing this from Colombo, Sri Lanka where I have been attending the Fifth Asia Pacific Adaptation forum here with over 800 participants from over fifty countries in Asia and the Pacific, including senior officials from governments, academics and researchers, civil society, media and UN agencies and development founders, private sector, and students and children came together over three days to share knowledge and experiences of planning and implementing adaptation activities in their respective countries and sectors.
After tense negotiations at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December, the world finally has a deal that, although not perfect, for the first time allows us to be optimistic that we will decelerate the pace of climate change.