The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has delivered a stark warning, declaring that “humanity has opened the gates of hell.”
In his address at the Climate Ambition Summit held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Guterres underscored the profound consequences of climate change. He stated that the scorching heat has dreadful effects, leaving farmers in despair as their crops are washed away by deadly floods, and causing the spread of diseases.
Guterres emphasized that climate action is being overshadowed by the magnitude of the challenge, cautioning that without significant changes, the world is headed toward a dangerous and unstable future.
In a bold call to action, Guterres urged developed nations to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040, a decade earlier than most current commitments. He also called on countries to commit to strict timelines for phasing out fossil fuel emissions and significantly increase funding to assist low- and middle-income countries in transitioning to clean energy while enhancing their resilience to increasingly severe weather events.
The Secretary-General made it clear that the situation is urgent, emphasizing that we are decades behind schedule due to hesitations, pressure from powerful fossil fuel interests, and blatant greed. The time for action is now.
The Climate Ambition Summit, featuring a limited list of speakers, marks a critical step in the fight against climate change. As the world grapples with devastating natural disasters, it aims to build global momentum for concrete measures to reduce pollution and mitigate the effects of global warming. The conference sets the stage for the UN’s COP28 climate summit in Dubai in December, where world leaders will need to come together to make crucial decisions for the future of our planet.