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UN Chief Antonio Guterres Addresses Urgent Climate Imperatives at COP28 World Climate Action Summit

Photo Source: UNSG X Feed

By: ATN News

Dubai:: In a compelling opening address at the World Climate Action Summit, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered a stark assessment of the planet's ailing health and the urgency of decisive global action. The summit, hosted in Dubai and presided over by COP28 President Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, witnessed the approval of a comprehensive agenda and the landmark operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund, setting a positive tone for the event.

Guterres commenced by expressing gratitude for the warm hospitality extended by the United Arab Emirates, acknowledging the critical role of global leaders in tackling the interconnected crises plaguing the planet. Drawing attention to his recent visits to Antarctica and Nepal, Guterres underscored the shared global challenge posed by the vanishing polar ice and melting glaciers, emphasizing the need for collective action.

The Secretary-General highlighted Earth's deteriorating vital signs: record emissions, ferocious fires, deadly droughts, and the hottest year ever recorded. With November barely underway, Guterres stressed the alarming proximity to midnight for the 1.5-degree limit set by the Paris Agreement. Despite the grim outlook, Guterres conveyed a message of hope, emphasizing that, while we stand miles away from the Paris Agreement goals, it is not too late to avert a planetary catastrophe.

Guterres urged global leaders to address the root causes of climate change, citing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's clear path to a 1.5-degree world. Emphasizing the need for leadership, cooperation, and political will, he underscored the importance of acting now to harness available technologies and avert the worst impacts of climate chaos.

Acknowledging global inequality and division, Guterres drew attention to the region's conflicts, causing immense suffering and emotional turmoil. He lamented the resumption of bombings in Gaza and connected climate chaos to exacerbating injustice, economic instability, and a rising cost of living.

Positively, Guterres highlighted renewable energy as a transformative solution, emphasizing its benefits for the planet, health, and economies. He urged a shift towards renewables, citing the economic inevitability of the global transition.

In outlining the success criteria for COP28, Guterres identified three critical areas: drastic emissions reduction, a just transition to renewables, and long-overdue climate justice. He emphasized the need for clear expectations in Nationally Determined Contributions, led by the G20, and a commitment to triple renewables and double energy efficiency by 2030.

Guterres delivered a stern message to fossil fuel leaders, urging them to abandon obsolete business models and lead the transition to renewables. He called for governmental support through regulation, legislation, fair carbon pricing, an end to subsidies, and a windfall tax on profits.

Highlighting the plight of developing countries, Guterres stressed the urgency of climate justice. He called for increased financial support, a surge in finance for adaptation and loss and damage, and reforms in multilateral development banks to mobilize private finance for climate action.

In conclusion, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged global leaders to recognize the climate challenge as the world's greatest test of leadership. As COP28 unfolds, Guterres implored leaders to make it a gamechanger, a new hope for the future of humankind, emphasizing that humanity's fate hangs in the balance.


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