UN Report on Climate Change Is Wake-Up Call to the World: UN Chief

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré (file)
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré (file)

The increasing number of natural disasters and dangers linked to climate change, highlighted in a new UN report released on Thursday (March 28), represents “another strong wake-up call” to the world, which must be countered by finding sustainable solutions quickly, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said.

Speaking at the launch of the State of the Global Climate report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Mr. Guterres reiterated his call for action, underlining that the alarming conclusion that climate change is accelerating, “proves what we have been saying: climate change is moving faster than our efforts to address it.”

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This was why he had convened the Climate Action Summit due to take place on 23 September, he said, sitting alongside the President of the General Assembly and the head of WMO, briefing correspondents in New York.

Mr. Guterres called on Heads of State to attend his climate action summit in New York on 23 September, and achieve positive change. “Don’t come with a speech, come with a plan,” he said, adding: “This is what science says is needed. It is what young people around the globe are rightfully demanding.”

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The data released in the report gives cause for great concern. The past four years were the warmest on record, with the global average surface temperature in 2018 approximately 1 °C above the pre-industrial baseline.

This data confirm the urgency of climate action. This was also emphasized by the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C.

The IPCC found that limiting global warming to 1.5 °C will require rapid and far-reaching transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities, and that global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide need to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching “net zero” around 2050.

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Rakesh Raman