COP27: We are on our way to climate hell, warns UN chief

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The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), António Guterres, told the countries gathered at the beginning of the COP27 in Egypt, this Monday (7), who face a difficult choice: work together now to reduce emissions or condemn future generations to climate catastrophe.

The speech was intended to set an urgent tone as governments gather for two weeks of talks on how to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, even as they are distracted by Russia’s war in Ukraine, rampant consumer inflation and a shortage of goods. energy.

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“Humanity has a choice: cooperate or perish,” Guterres told delegates gathered in the coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh. Leaders of countries from Britain to Saudi Arabia are expected to speak later in the day.

Guterres called for a pact between the world’s richest and poorest countries to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels and the delivery of the necessary funding to ensure that the poorest countries can reduce emissions and deal with the inevitable impacts of warming that have already occurred.

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“The two largest economies – the United States and China – have a particular responsibility to join forces to make this pact a reality,” he said.

Guterres called on countries to agree to phase out the use of coal, one of the most carbon-intensive fuels, by 2040 worldwide, with members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reaching that milestone by 2030.

Despite decades of climate negotiations – Egypt’s COP is the 27th Conference of the Parties – progress has been insufficient to save the planet from excessive warming, as countries are either too slow or reluctant to act, he noted.

“Greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow. Global temperatures continue to rise. And our planet is rapidly approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible,” he said. “We are on our way to climate hell, with our foot on the accelerator.”

The signatories of the 2015 Paris climate agreement have committed to achieving a long-term goal of preventing global temperatures from rising more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Scientists have established this as the ceiling to prevent catastrophic climate change.

Guterres said keeping any hope of achieving that goal alive means achieving net-zero global emissions by 2050.

“It’s either a Climate Solidarity Pact – or a Collective Suicide Pact,” he said.

(Edited by Barbara Lewis)

Source: CNN Brasil

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