Says “We are in trouble, deep trouble with climate change”
From: Bamidele Fashube, Abuja
The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called on nations that are most contributor to greenhouse gas emissions globally to expedite actions in realising their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
He tasked the affected countries to ensure they do everything possible to meet their pledges at the Paris Agreement.
The UN Chief made this remark at the opening ceremony of the UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland.
He explained that for many, people, regions even countries climate change is already a matter of life and death such that is running faster than man could, thus nations must catch up before it is too late.
His words: “This meeting is the most important gathering on climate change since the Paris Agreement was signed.
“It is hard to overstate the urgency of our situation. Even as we witness devastating climate impacts causing havoc across the world, we are still not doing enough, nor moving fast enough, to prevent irreversible and catastrophic climate disruption. Nor are we doing enough to capitalize on the enormous social, economic and environmental opportunities of climate action.
“And so, I want to deliver four simple messages. First: science demands a significantly more ambitious response. Second: the Paris Agreement provides the framework for action, so we must operationalize it. Third: we have a collective responsibility to invest in averting global climate chaos, to consolidate the financial commitments made in Paris and to assist the most vulnerable communities and nations. Fourth: climate action offers a compelling path to transform our world for the better.”
“According to the World Meteorological Organization, the 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, with the top four in the past four years.
“The concentration of carbon dioxide is the highest it has been in 3 million years. Emissions are now growing again. The recent special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change finds that warming could reach 1.5 degrees as soon as 2030, with devastating impacts. The latest UN Environment Programme Emissions Gap Report tells us that the current Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement will lead to global warming of about 3 degrees by the end of the century.
“Furthermore, the majority of countries most responsible for greenhouse gas emissions are behind in their efforts to meet their Paris pledges,” he added.
He applauded President Duda, Minister Kowalczyk and COP President Designate Mijal Kurtyka for their warm welcome.
He further called for more climate action such as the adoption of renewable energy in order to close the emission gaps. He further noted that emissions must decline by 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030 and be net zero by 2050.
“So, it is plain we are way off course. We need more action and more ambition. We absolutely have to close this emissions gap. If we fail, the Arctic and Antarctic will continue to melt, corals will bleach and then die, the oceans will rise, more people will die from air pollution, water scarcity will plague a significant proportion of humanity, and the cost of disasters will skyrocket,” he stated.