UNGA 77: Guterres urges world leaders to tackle climate crisis
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called on world leaders to bring hope to a fractured world and increase efforts to fight the climate crisis.
Mr Guterres made the appeal at a news conference on Wednesday as hundreds of Heads of State and Government prepare to fly into New York for the General Debate of the new General Assembly, starting from September 20 to 27.
The UN chief promised to address the many challenging issues facing the planet in his speech next week to the General Assembly, which would also contain concrete recommendations for lasting solutions and a call to action.
He recalled the devastation he witnessed on his recent trip to flood-hit Pakistan, which he described as a window into a future of permanent and ubiquitous climate chaos on an unimaginable scale.
Mr Guterres, who is from Portugal, noted that the flooding covers an area three times the size of his homeland. He expressed dismay over the global response to the climate crisis as inadequate, unjust and, at its heart, a betrayal.
“Whether it’s Pakistan, the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, small islands or Least Developed Countries, the world’s most vulnerable – who did nothing to cause this crisis – are paying a horrific price for decades of intransigence by big emitters,” the UN leader stressed.
Targeting the leaders of the world’s wealthiest nations, the UN chief reminded them that they were responsible for the vast majority of climate-related emissions, even though they are also heavily impacted.
He wondered aloud if the reaction would be different if one-third of G20 countries, rather than Pakistan, were currently underwater.
All countries need to cut emissions every year – with the G20, as the leading emitters, leading the way until the global temperature rise is limited to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
Citing Pakistan, Mr Guterres insisted that the country, and other climate hotspots, need flood-resilient infrastructure now, arguing that at least half of all climate finance must go to adaptation and climate resilience. That funding, he said, must come from the leading economies.
“Lower the temperature — now,” he said. “Don’t flood the world today; don’t drown it tomorrow.”
The UN has hailed the success of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which has enabled food and fertiliser supplies to leave war-torn Ukrainian ports finally, and played a part in reducing global food prices, as they reached record highs following Russia’s invasion.
However, there is still a real risk of multiple famines this year, Guterres warned.
The secretary-general pointed out that, at a time of high geopolitical tensions, a lack of action to halt the climate crisis would have severe knock-on effects, such as mass migration and increased instability.
“This year’s General Debate must be about providing hope; that hope can only come through the dialogue and debate that are the beating heart of the United Nations,” he said.
We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.
More from Peoples Gazette
Buhari regime mentally lazy, suffering from military hangover by forcing VCs to reopen universities: ASUU
“This is clearly a replica of, or a hangover from, a typical military administration,” said the ASUU coordinator.
“Our esteemed military retirees are please urged to remain calm and patient,” said the Military Pensions Board.
“There is also the issue of underpayment of royalty by 25 enterprises that exported minerals in 2019 with no record of royalty payments,” RMAFC disclosed.
“Anybody who has witnessed war will not wish for war or separation,” said Lai Mohammed.
“We are shifting away from just giving humanitarian relief to see how we can build the resilience of our people and empower them,” noted the humanitarian minister.
AFCSC Jaji on Monday commemorated 165 students of the college who lost their lives in a plane crash 30 years ago.