UN Secretary-General says global climate change response is waning

NEW YORK – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered a strong message at the start of the UN General Assembly, calling for more aggressive action to mitigate climate change.

Speaking at Wednesday’s press conference, Guterres denounced “the sheer inadequacy of the global response to the climate crisis”.

He began his inaugural speech by talking about the ongoing heavy floods in Pakistan, in which Billions of dollars in damage and more than 1,300 deaths,

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stands on a podium.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks to the media on September 9 in Islamabad, Pakistan. (Muhammad Reza/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“I just returned from Pakistan, where I looked through a window into the future,” Guterres said. “The future of permanent and ubiquitous climate chaos on an unimaginable scale: catastrophic loss of life, enormous human suffering, and enormous damage to infrastructure and livelihoods. … What is happening in Pakistan is the inadequacy of the global response to the climate crisis.” and displays betrayal and injustice at its core.”

Climate change, Guterres noted, is caused by greenhouse gas emissions that come heavily from the world’s richest countries, but extreme weather events and the devastation they cause are hitting poorer countries like Pakistan the most.

In addition to the floods in Pakistan, which this spring caused record high temperatures due to glacial melting and a particularly intense monsoon season, Guterres discussed other climate-change-related crises beset the developing world, such as: That food shortage in east africa,

“Whether it is Pakistan, the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, or the small islands” least developed countriesThe world’s most vulnerable – those who did nothing to cause this crisis – are paying a terrible price for decades of inaction by big emitters,” Guterres said. “G-20 countries are responsible for 80 percent of emissions If a third of the G20 countries were underwater today, as it could be tomorrow, it would probably be easier for them to agree on drastic reductions in emissions.

Guterres argued that richer countries should commit to more ambitious emissions reductions and provide funds to help poorer countries adapt to climate change.

A woman and four children stand in the water in a flooded area, with items gathered beside wooden tables.

A flooded area in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province on September 4 (Ahmed Ali/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“Unless action is taken, unless the funds are disbursed now, these tragedies will multiply manifold, including worldwide instability and mass migration, with disastrous consequences for years to come,” he said. ,” They said.

“My message to the world leaders gathered here is clear: Lower the temperature – now. Don’t flood the world today; don’t drown it tomorrow.”

However, journalists’ questions were mostly about the Russian war on Ukraine, reflecting the difficulty of maintaining global attention to climate change.

Guterres said of the war, “It would be naive to think that we are close to the prospect of a peace deal.” “My office is ready, … but the chances are slim at the present time.”

In response to a question about the European energy crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine, Guterres called on governments to tax the record profits made by fossil fuel companies as a result of high oil and gas prices.

Guterres also said that he spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday morning about expanding the Black Sea Grain Initiative, an effort to export Russian and Ukrainian grain despite war between the countries, easing the food crisis in parts of Africa. and other low-income countries.

A reporter from Pakistan asked what the United Nations can do for his country.

Guterres said, “Pakistan needs massive financial resources.

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