UNITED NATIONS: UN chief Antonio Guterres accused governments and businesses Monday of “lying” about their efforts to stem climate change, seeking to shame them into action as the body released a landmark crisis report. The United Nations’ Secretary General said the world must ditch coal, oil and gas and go all-out to develop renewable energy without delay to avoid a “climate disaster”.
“Some government and business leaders are saying one thing — but doing another. Simply put, they are lying. And the results will be catastrophic,” Guterres said in a video message released at the same time as the UN report on how to avert the worst impacts of global warming.
The report by scientists warned that not enough is being done to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels that science shows are driving the warming of the planet.
Nearly five months after rallying world countries at the inconclusive COP26 climate summit, the UN chief hardened his rhetoric further, targeting the governments and companies who the report said must act to halt emissions.
Successive reports by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have shown that human-caused warming has already driven a rise in deadly storms, droughts, fires and floods and has even wiped out some species.
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Countries agreed under the 2016 Paris accords to limit the rise in global temperatures to “well below” two degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial levels, and 1.5C if possible.
In the last of its latest three-part series of major reports, the IPCC warned that time has almost run out. If current policies are not improved upon, Earth is on track for 3.2C of warming, it warned.
“High-emitting governments and corporations are not just turning a blind eye; they are adding fuel to the flames,” Guterres said.
“They are choking our planet, based on their vested interests and historic investments in fossil fuels, when cheaper, renewable solutions provide green jobs, energy security, and greater price stability.” The COP26 summit saw pledges to halt deforestation, curb methane emissions, phase down coal-fired power and boost financial aid to developing countries.
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