‘We are the danger, but we are also the solution’ for climate: UN chief

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'We are the danger, but we are also the solution' for climate: UN chief
'We are the danger, but we are also the solution' for climate: UN chief

Africa-Press – Eritrea. The head of the UN warned about the ongoing climate crisis Wednesday and said humans are the danger but also the solution.

“Like the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs, we’re having an outsized impact. In the case of climate, we are not the dinosaurs. We are the meteor. We are not only in danger. We are the danger. But we are also the solution,” said Antonio Guterres.

Guterres delivered a major speech at the American Museum of Natural History in New York for World Environment Day.

Saying that the planet is trying to send a message to people but the message is not being heard, and global warming is increasing, Guterres said: “We are at a moment of truth.”

Emphasizing the urgent need for immediate and decisive action to combat climate change, Guterres said to keep the global warming limit at 1.5 degrees, global emissions need to be reduced by 9% each year.

“We are playing Russian roulette with our planet. We need an exit ramp off the highway to climate hell. And the truth is we have control of the wheel,” he said.

The UN chief said the 1.5-degree limit is not just a target but a physical boundary, stressing that a much stronger fight is needed to preserve it.

“All depends on the decisions those leaders take, or fail to take, especially in the next 18 months,” he said.

Guterres pointed out that steps to be taken on climate change should not be subjected to geopolitical divisions, stating that poor communities, which contribute the least to the climate crisis, are the ones most affected by the crisis.

“The richest 1% emit as much as two-thirds of humanity,” he said. “The Godfathers of climate chaos, the fossil fuel industry, rake in record profits and feast off trillions in taxpayer-funded subsidies.”

Noting that “we have what we need to save ourselves,” Guterres said forests and oceans absorb carbon from the atmosphere and must be protected.

“We have the technologies we need to slash emissions,” he said, adding that the next 18 months are crucial for setting emission reduction targets for 2030 and 2035.

Guterres emphasized the importance of all countries fulfilling their promises and responsibilities, and underlined that it is not possible to deceive nature, warning that false solutions will backfire.

“Every country must deliver and play their rightful part. We need cooperation, not finger-pointing,” he added.

He said it is a “disgrace” that those responsible for the climate crisis sit in their “air-conditioned bubbles” while the most vulnerable, who are not responsible for it, are left to struggle.

The UN chief further stressed the need for financing new climate plans and noted the importance of taxing the profits of fossil fuel companies.

Guterres stated that climate financing is not a “favor” but a necessity for a livable future.

“Fossil fuels are not only poisoning our planet – they’re toxic for” the branding process of companies.

“No country can solve the climate crisis in isolation. This is an all-in moment,” said Guterres.

He further noted that the UN is making intense efforts to build trust, produce solutions and promote cooperation.

“Don’t lose courage. Don’t lose hope. It’s we the people versus the polluters and the profiteers,” he said. “It’s time for leaders to decide whose side they’re on. Tomorrow is too late. Now is the time to mobilize, now is the time to act, now is the time to deliver.”

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