Choose hope or climate surrender: UN chief
Madrid, Dec. 2: The United Nations opened a twoweek climate summit in Madrid on Monday, where world leaders face growing pressure to prove they can muster the political will to avert the most catastrophic impacts of global warming.
So far the world’s efforts to stop climate change have been “utterly inadequate” and there is a danger that global warming could pass the “point of no return”, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said before the start of the international climate conference
We can choose hope or path of surrender, where we have sleepwalked past the point of no return, jeopardising the health and safety of everyone on this planet. — Anotonio Guterres
Addressing the opening plenary of conference, he said, that humanity must choose between hope and surrender.
“One is the path of surrender, where we have sleepwalked past the point of no return, jeopardising the health and safety of everyone on this planet.
Do we really want to be remembered as the generation that buried its head in the sand, that fiddled while the planet burned?” he said.
The summit began against a backdrop of increasingly visible impacts from rising temperatures in the past year, with wildfires raging from the Arctic and the Amazon to Australia, and tropical regions hit by devastating hurricanes.
The conference aims to lay the final pieces of ground work needed to support the 2015 Paris Agreement to tackle climate change, which enters a crucial implementation phase next year.
COP25 talks in Madrid will focus on finalising rules for global carbon markets and setting up a fund to help countries already reeling from climate change — enhanced heatwaves, droughts,
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Mr Guterres noted the world has the scientific knowledge and the technical means to limit global warming, but “what is lacking is political will”.
“The point of no return is no longer over the horizon,” Mr Guterres told reporters in the Spanish capital. “It is in sight and hurtling toward us.”
He cited mounting scientific evidence for the impact that manmade emissions of greenhouse gases are already having on the planet, including record temperatures and melting polar ice, but insisted his message was “one of hope, not of despair”.
“Our war against nature must stop and we know that is possible,” he said.
Countries agreed in Paris four years ago to limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), ideally 1.5C (2.7F) by the end of the century compared with pre-industrial times.