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COP21: bone-chilling climate impacts

UNEP has contributed to an exhibition on mountains and a film screening on Antarctica, with both strikingly highlighting the impact climate change is having on vulnerable landscapes.


Raising awareness ahead of the ongoing COP21 meeting, UNEP took part in a Ciné-ONU Vienna screening of the ‘Ice and the Sky’ documentary, which draws attention to the impacts of climate change in Antarctica and worldwide.


The film - produced by Luc Jacquet and released this year - presents scientific discoveries by the French polar scientist Claude Lorius on ice in Antarctica, whose Western Peninsula is one of the fastest-warming areas on Earth.


In the subsequent Q&A session, Matthias Jurek of UNEP’s Vienna office joined Helmut Hojesky of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management and Martin Nesirky from the UN Information Service for a discussion on climate impacts and the COP talks.


The screening was organised by UNIS Vienna in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations based in the Austrian capital and was held as part of the ‘This Human World’ Human Rights film festival.


Meanwhile, a UNESCO-led exhibition is currently displaying satellite imagery and aerial and ground level photography of different mountain regions worldwide at COP21.


Titled ‘Mountains: early warning systems for climate change,’ the exhibition aims to draw the attention of decision makers and the general public to the impacts of climate change on mountain ecosystems, water resources and livelihoods.


The display also showcases potential adaptation and mitigation strategies in addressing these impacts for mountains, where temperature levels rise twice as fast as in other regions – leading to severe climate impacts.


The exhibition was held by the UN’s education, science and culture branch as part of its International Hydrological and Man and Biosphere Programmes and was inaugurated on 4 November.


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