U.N. chief Antonio Guterres warned Sunday climate-related devastation is striking the planet on a weekly basis and global action must be undertaken immediately with U.N. agencies in the lead or else the earth is doomed.
“We are here because the world is facing a grave climate emergency,” Guterres told a two-day Abu Dhabi climate meeting ahead of a Climate Action Summit in New York in September.
“Climate disruption is happening now… It is progressing even faster than the world’s top scientists have predicted,” the UN secretary general said. “It is outpacing our efforts to address it. Climate change is running faster than we are.
“Every week brings new climate-related devastation… floods, drought, heatwaves, wildfires and super storms.”
Guterres warned the situation would only deteriorate unless “we act now with ambition and urgency”, and called for greater carbon taxes, an end to building power plants and a change in the way the world does business.
The U.N. chief held out hope in the Paris Agreement to force nations to accede to climate action as directed.
The climate emergency is evolving faster than predicted. We must accelerate our response, with ambition and urgency. This is the battle for our lives. And it’s a battle we can and must win. https://t.co/CQstT1p2ri #ClimateAction
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) June 30, 2019
“But we know that even if the promises of Paris are fully met, we still face at least a three-degree temperature rise by the end of the century — a catastrophe for life as we know it,” Guterres said.
This is not the first warning of impending global climate catastrophe issued by the U.N.
Last year the global body called for a climate treaty “on steroids” – stronger, more all-encompassing and more legally binding than the ailing Paris accord.
That came after U.S. President Donald Trump announced in June 2017 the United States would withdraw from the agreement because of the harm it would cause to the economy.
Trump said the U.S. would immediately “cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris Accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country.”
Complying with the agreement could have cost the U.S. “as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025 according to the National Economic Research Associates,” Trump said. “This includes 440,000 fewer manufacturing jobs.”
Now the U.N. is again calling for a global effort as well as ramping up the possible amounts of money involved, with some critics saying $300 billion will be needed annually by 2030 to help the U.N. deal with alleged climate-related disasters.
AFP contributed to this story