News in Brief 04 December 2015 (PM)

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Christiana Figueres. Photo: UNFCC

Local leadership vital to mitigate climate change effects

More local leaders and governments around the world need to take a stand to mitigate the effects of climate change.

That's the message from the UN Secretary-General at the COP21 summit in Paris.

Addressing an event to highlight the work of the Compact of States and Regions launched at the Climate Summit last year, he said they had done pioneering work lowering carbon emissions.

Summarizing the progress made in the first few days of the Paris summit, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework on Climate Change, said there was growing consensus that keeping temperature rises between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius, was realistic.

"There is a lot of space to be able to find not just a language but also a very important conceptual agreement of the fact that decarbonisation needs to happen, it needs to happen very quickly and it needs to happen across the economy."

New initiative launched on measuring and reducing food loss

A new initiative has been launched to measure and reduce the amount of food wasted around the world.

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), together with other partners in the sector, are responding to a call from agriculture ministers at the recent G20 summit, to do more about the problem.

At the moment, one-third of the food produced globally each year is lost or wasted. That's enough to feed two billion people.

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said that the new Technical Platform on the Measurement and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste marked an important step forward, uniting the public and private sectors.

"Working together" is the only solution to dangerous journeys in Bay of Bengal

Only by working together, can the loss of life be minimized now that the season for dangerous sea journeys across the Bay of Bengal has begun.

That was the warning from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and other UN bodies to the Second Special Meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean, in Bangkok.

More than 20 countries and international organizations gathered in the Thai capital to try and prevent a repeat of the crisis in May, when around 5,000 Rohingya and Bangladeshis were eventually rescued after weeks adrift at sea.

The UN offered guidance on better preparation and the need for enhanced search and rescue efforts.

The agencies also stressed the importance of identifying and helping trafficking victims, women and children, and other vulnerable groups.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’12″

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