Guterres calls for the climate crisis to be a priority for governments

Guterres calls for the climate crisis to be a priority for governments
Guterres calls for the climate crisis to be a priority for governments

Africa-Press – Angola. UN Secretary-General António Guterres defended yesterday that the climate crisis should be a top priority for all governments and multilateral organizations and called for fossil fuel companies to be held accountable for the destruction of the planet.

“There is another battle we must end — our suicidal war against nature. The climate crisis is the defining issue of our time. It must be the first priority of all governments and multilateral organizations. And yet climate action is being put on the back burner — despite overwhelming public support around the world”, underlined Guterres in his opening speech to the general debate of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.

According to the UN leader, global greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced by 45% by 2030 if there is to be any hope of reaching zero by 2050.

“And yet, emissions are rising at record levels — on their way to a 14% increase this decade. We have an encounter with climate disaster,” he predicted, giving as an example the scenario of destruction he encountered in his recent visit to Pakistan, where a third of the country is submerged due to the severe floods that destroyed part of that territory.

“We see it everywhere. Planet Earth is a victim of scorched earth policies. Last year brought us Europe’s worst heat wave since the Middle Ages. Massive droughts in China, the United States and other countries. Hunger lurks in the Horn of Africa. A million species at risk of extinction. No region is untouched. And we haven’t seen anything yet. Today’s hottest summers could be tomorrow’s coolest summers. Climate shocks that occur once in a lifetime may soon become annual events”, said António Guterres.

Classifying the climate crisis as a case of moral and economic injustice, the former Portuguese prime minister directly pointed the finger at the G20 [the largest and emerging economies in the world], which accounted for 80% of all greenhouse gas emissions. , whose effects end up manifesting themselves in the poorest and most vulnerable countries – those that have contributed the least to this crisis.

Meanwhile, according to Guterres, the fossil fuel industry celebrates with “hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies and windfall profits as family budgets shrink and our planet burns.”

According to the secretary-general, the world is “addicted to fossil fuels” and it is time for “intervention”.

“We need to hold fossil fuel companies and their enablers accountable. That includes the banks, private funds, asset managers and other financial institutions that continue to invest in and underwrite carbon pollution. And that includes the massive public relations machine that bills billions to protect the fossil fuel industry from scrutiny,” he denounced.

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