U.N. Secretary: Rise of Nationalism Threatens Fight Against Climate Change

BONN, NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA, GERMANY - 2017/11/04: 'Planet Earth First' written on a girl's face. With the motto 'keep coal in the ground' thousands of activists took to the streets demanding Climate Justice two days ahead of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - UNFCCC - COP23. (Photo by …
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United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Thursday that the trend in favor of nationalist policies around the world is making it harder to promote a global approach to fighting climate change.

“I think that it is clear to me that the world is more polarized. We have more and more nationalist approaches being popular and winning election or having strong election results,” Guterres said. “We see the trust between public opinions and institutions — governments, political establishments but also International organization … being eroded.”

The BBC journalist who interviewed Guterres pressed him on President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. 

“Is it a problem that the world’s most powerful man is a climate change skeptic?” BBC’s New York correspondent Nick Bryant asked Guterres.

Guterres did not criticize Trump but instead said it is more important that the fight against so-called manmade climate change should be a grassroots effort.

“It always helps if everyone is in line with what we think, but we shouldn’t reduce the discussion about climate change to the individual position of this or that leader,” Guterres said.

“It’s a global issue, and we are all failing,” Guterres said. “And in a global issue, we need to mobilize everyone.”

Guterres said that the Paris climate accord did not go far enough and called on countries to make an even more “ambitious” commitment to ending greenhouse gas emissions.

“Things are getting worse than predicted but the political will today, unfortunately, is not as high as it should be,” Guterres said.

As Breitbart News reported, the U.N. just released its “Emissions Gap Report 2018″:

Current national commitments “are inadequate to bridge the emissions gap in 2030,” the U.N. warned in its report. 

“Technically, it is still possible to bridge the gap to ensure global warming stays well below 2°C and 1.5°C,” but if global ambitions are not increased before 2030, exceeding the 1.5º C goal “can no longer be avoided.”

“Now more than ever, unprecedented and urgent action is required by all nations,” the report declared. “The assessment of actions by the G20 countries indicates that this is yet to happen; in fact, global CO2  emissions increased in 2017 after three years of stagnation.”

The United Nations is holding its COP24 climate change conference in Poland next week.

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