November was a big month for climate change, so not surprisingly tweets about climate change played a prominent role in the UN Social 500 this month. The Paris Agreement, which builds upon the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, entered into force on November 4, 2016. When Austria, Bolivia, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Malta, Nepal, Portugal and Slovakia and the as the European Union deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance or accession with the Secretary-General on October 5, they exceeded the 55 percent threshold for emissions required for the Agreement to enter into force. While this news was greeted with hope and support around the world, some worried about the economic impacts of the treaty. Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization, suggested that we don’t need to choose between the economy and the climate.
Martin Bloem, Senior Nutrition Advisor and UNAIDS Global Coordinator for the World Food Program, noted that the Paris Agreement, which seeks to limit global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, has implications of critical importance to other UN programs. He urged his followers:
— Dr Martin Bloem (@mwbloem) November 17, 2016
Because climate change makes floods and droughts more frequent and intense, food systems are also at risk. The World Food Program estimates that the risk of global hunger and malnutrition could rise 20% by 2050 without efforts to improve resilience to a changing climate. In conjunction with the Hadley Center Met Office, the UK’s National Weather Service, the World Food Program has developed a tool visualize this. This Food Insecurity and Climate Change Vulnerability map shows how food security changes across various emissions scenarios across the globe.
And it’s not just food scarcity that will increase if average global temperatures continue to rise. Many of the mobile and stationary sources that contribute greenhouse gases to the atmosphere also increase air pollution – and air pollution causes and exacerbates an array of respiratory diseases to which children are particularly vulnerable. Kent Page reminded his followers that:
— Kent Page (@KentPage) November 12, 2016
These tweets also shared the popular hashtag #COP22 for the UN Climate Change Conference and 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP) held in Marrakesh, Morocco from November 7 -18. At that conference, a number of hopeful initiatives were launched, including host country Morocco’s “Adaptation of African Agriculture” initiative, which focuses on plans to protect small-scale farmers in Africa the effects of climate change. UNDP Administrator Helen Clark announced the action plan while at COP22.
Join us again next month, when we’ll be sharing the tweets, hashtags and digital campaigns that generated the most public engagement in December. We’ll share the story behind those campaigns and highlight a few of the UN staff who used their social media accounts to highlight the important work of the United Nations.