UNITED NATIONS: UN chief Antonio Guterres bluntly warned world leaders that the impact of climate change could affect food production, water security and weather patterns “from Canada to India”, amid threats by US President Donald Trump that he may pull out of the landmark Paris deal.
Guterres said climate change is “undeniable”, in a stark contrast to the position taken by Trump, who has previously called it a “a hoax” and last week shrugged off pressure from US allies during the G7 summit in Sicily to endorse the deal his predecessor Barack Obama worked passionately to achieve.
In his first major speech on climate change since he assumed charge as the head of the UN this January, the UN secretary-general said the “world is in a mess” and urged the international community to “stay the course” even if one government does not believe in the emissions-cutting deal.
“Yes, not everyone will move at the same pace or with equal vigour. But if any government doubts the global will and need for this accord, that is reason for all others to unite even stronger and stay the course,” he told students, business leaders and academics at the New York University Stern School of Business. “It is a reason to build ever broader coalitions with civil society and business, with cities and states, with academia and community leaders,” Guterres said on Tuesday.
Guterres pointed out the seriousness of climate change and said its effects were dangerous and they were accelerating. The climate change could affect food production, water security and weather patterns “from Canada to India,” he warned.
“And so my argument today is that it is absolutely essential that the world implements the Paris agreement and that we fulfil that duty with increased ambition. The reason is three-fold: Climate change is undeniable. Climate action is unstoppable. And climate solutions provide opportunities that are unmatchable,” he said.
The climate pact urges countries to intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future.
It also aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change and calls for scaled up financial flows, a new technology framework and an enhanced capacity-building framework to support action by developing countries and the most vulnerable countries in line with their own national objectives.
He said the nations which embrace green technologies will set the “gold standard” for economic leadership in the 21st century. “The falling cost of renewables is one of the most encouraging stories on the planet today,” he said. The UN chief added that he will work with UN member- states to mobilise national and international resources for adaptation and implementation of national climate action plans.