Tuesday March 26, 2019
Home Lead Story UN Chief Antó...

UN Chief António Guterres Warns The International Community About Global Warming

In September 2019, Guterres plans to convene a climate summit in New York to try to push climate action to the top of the international agenda.

0
//
Women
UN logo. Wikimedia

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres warned Monday that climate change is moving faster than efforts to combat it and that the international community needs to “put the brake” on greenhouse gas emissions, which drive global warming.

“If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change with disastrous consequences for people and all the natural systems that sustain us,” Guterres told a gathering of youth, business leaders and diplomats at U.N. headquarters.

“We are careening towards the edge of the abyss,” he said, standing at a podium in front of a rain-splattered window. “It is not too late to shift course. But every day that passes means the world heats up a little more, and the cost of our inaction mounts.”

The U.N. chief renewed his call for action on the eve of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. California announced Monday that it is committing to 100 percent clean electricity by 2045.

The summit aims to mobilize international and local leaders from states, cities, business and civil society with national government leaders, scientists, students and nonprofits.

UN Chief
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during the opening ceremony of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. VOA

Paris agreement

Guterres said the targets agreed to in the 2015 Paris Climate Accord are the “bare minimum” to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. In the agreement, world leaders committed to stop global temperatures rising by 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to keep it as close to 1.5 degrees as possible.

“But scientists tell us that we are far off track,” he cautioned, noting these commitments represent just one-third of what is needed.

“We need to shift away from our dependence on fossil fuels,” Guterres said. “We need to replace them with clean energy from water, wind and sun.”

The U.N. says that the planet is still consuming 85 percent of its energy from fossil fuels and only 15 percent from renewable energies, including nuclear wind and solar power.

The United States, which is the only country to have signed and then withdrawn from the Paris accord, has loosened federal regulations on the fossil fuel industry under President Donald Trump’s administration. Trump has also vowed to save the coal industry.

Guterres urged governments to end subsidies for fossil fuels and institute carbon pricing that reflects the true cost of greenhouse gas emissions.

climate
An aerial view of downtown San Francisco, California

He said the rise of renewable energy has been “tremendous.”

“Today, it is competitive with — or even cheaper — than coal and oil, especially if one factors in the cost of pollution.”

Guterres singled out China, a major polluter, for investing $126 billion last year in renewable energy — a 30 percent increase over 2016. He noted that countries that have long depended on oil, such as the Arab Gulf states and Norway, are looking at ways to diversify their economies away from fossil fuels.

“We know what is happening to our planet,” Guterres said. “We know what we need to do. And we even know how to do it. But sadly, the ambition of our action is nowhere near where it needs to be.”

‘Vast opportunity’

Guterres said the transition to cleaner energy and lower carbon emissions can have great economic opportunities.

“The International Labor Organization reports that common sense green economy policies could create 24 million new jobs globally by 2030,” he noted.

Climate
In this file photo taken Oct. 10, 2015, a bus moves past by solar power and wind power farms in northwestern China’s Ningxia Hui region.

He appealed for leadership from all sectors to mitigate the impact of global warming.

In September 2019, Guterres plans to convene a climate summit in New York to try to push climate action to the top of the international agenda.

Also Read: Plastic Contribute to Global Warming: Scientists

“I am calling on world leaders to come to next year’s climate summit prepared to report not only on what they are doing, but what more they intend to do when they convene in 2020 for the U.N. climate conference, and where commitments will be renewed and surely ambitiously increased,” he said.

Next Story

Due to Global Warming Mount Everest Melting Glaciers Throw Up Climbers’ Bodies

According to studies, glaciers in the Everest region are melting and thinning

0
mount everest
The association's Treasurer, Tenzeeng Sherpa, said climate change was affecting Nepal with glaciers, in parts, melting by a meter every year. Pixabay

With the melting of glaciers and snow due to high temperatures, Mount Everest expedition operators are finding more and more bodies of climbers on and around the world’s highest peak.

More than 200 mountaineers have died on the peak since 1922, when the first climbers’ deaths on the Everest were recorded. Most bodies have remained buried under glaciers or snow, CNN has reported.

“Due to climate change and global warming, snow and glaciers are melting fast, and bodies are being exposed and discovered by climbers,” said Ang Tshering Sherpa, former President of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

mount everest
“Since 2008, my company has brought down seven bodies, some dating back to a British expedition in the 1970s,” he said. Pixabay

“Since 2008, my company has brought down seven bodies, some dating back to a British expedition in the 1970s,” he said.

According to studies, glaciers in the Everest region are melting and thinning.

“It’s a serious issue. We are concerned about this as it’s getting worse,” said Sobit Kunwar, an official of the Nepal National Mountain Guides Association. “We are trying to spread information to have a coordinated way to deal with it,” he said.

The association’s Treasurer, Tenzeeng Sherpa, said climate change was affecting Nepal with glaciers, in parts, melting by a meter every year.

mount everest
“We bring down most bodies. But for those that could not be brought down we pay ours respects by saying prayers and covering them with rocks or snow,” Sherpa said. Pixabay

ALSO READ: PUBG Apologises to Indian Users After they Faced Inconvenience while Playing

“We bring down most bodies. But for those that could not be brought down we pay ours respects by saying prayers and covering them with rocks or snow,” Sherpa said.

He lamented poor response of authorities in dealing with bodies found on the mountain. “We have not seen the government taking any responsibility,” he said.

Recovering and removing bodies from higher camps can be both dangerous and expensive. (IANS)