Humanity must end its ‘war against nature’, UN Secretary-General says on the eve of COP25
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Humanity must end its ‘war against nature’, UN Secretary-General says on the eve of COP25

Guterres stressed that climate change is no longer a long-term problem, "we are now facing a climate crisis." Credit: Belga.

Humanity must put end its “war against nature”, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, deplored on Sunday on the eve of the opening of the UN Climate Conference (COP25) in Madrid, before listing the devastating impacts of climate change.

“For decades, the human race has been at war with the planet and the planet has been doing its part. We must end our war against nature and science tells us that we can do it,” Guterres said at a press conference.

He denounced the “totally insufficient” commitments of the international community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which surged by higher amounts in 2018 ‘than during the past decade’, a recent report by the World Meteorological Organisation revealed.

Guterres confirmed that, not surprisingly, 2019 would climb into the top 5 hottest years in recorded history.

“The last five years have been the warmest on record,” he said, making a scary list of other devastating and increasingly “deadly” effects of global warming, including rising sea levels, melting polar ice caps and droughts.

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“In short, climate change is no longer a long-term problem, we are now facing a climate crisis. The point of no return is not far away on the horizon, it is insight and is approaching us at full speed,” the Secretary-General stressed.

Nevertheless, the Portuguese politician ensured that he kept up “hope”, in particular through the mobilisation of young people, citizens in general and cities or companies.

But “what is still missing is the political will: the political will to put a price on carbon, the political will to stop fossil fuel subsidies, the political will to stop building coal-fired power plants as early as 2020, the political will to move from income taxation to carbon taxation,” Mr. Guterres stressed.

He addressed, in particular, the major economies: “The world’s largest (CO2) emitters are not doing their part, and without them, our goal is not achievable.”

The signatories of the 2015 Paris Agreement, who are set to meet in Madrid from 2 to 13 December, are being urged on all sides to accelerate measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions more quickly, with the hope of limiting global warming somewhat further to +2°C or even +1.5°C compared to the pre-industrial era.

The Brussels Times