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Climate action ‘a necessity’ – UN chief

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for sustained action to meet the global challenge and to ensure a peaceful and sustainable future for all, urging world to rally behind Paris accord.

Antonio Guterres

Guterres, in his remarks at the New York University Stern School of Business, highlighted the seriousness of the impact of climate change on the planet and its inhabitants.

“The effects of climate change are dangerous and they are accelerating. It is absolutely essential that the world implements the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“And that we fulfil that duty with increased ambition,” he said, recalling the ground breaking agreement that entered into force in November 2016.

Guterres underscored that the science behind climate change “is beyond doubt”.

“As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change puts it: ‘Human influence on the climate system is clear’.

“The more we disrupt our climate, the more we risk severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts,’” he said.

The Secretary-General recalled that global temperatures had been rising, year after year, and that 2016 was the hottest on record.

Furthermore, there were fears that the melt of sea ice and glaciers due to rising temperatures would have deep and far reaching impact.

Droughts and dry spells will last longer, while natural disasters like floods and hurricanes will be even more destructive, he said.

Guterres said he would intensify political engagement with countries to increase efforts to limit temperature rise to well below 2 degree-Celsius and as close as possible to 1.5 degree-Celsius.

Further, the Secretary-General cautioned that failure to act on combating climate change would in turn harm the countries themselves for their inaction.

“Those who fail to bet on the green economy will be living in a grey future but those who embrace green technologies will set the gold standard for economic leadership in the twenty-first century.”

The Agreement called on countries to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future.

It also called on countries to adapt to the increasing impacts of climate change and to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.

The agreement called for scaling up of financial flows, a new technology framework and an enhanced capacity-building framework to support action by developing countries and the most vulnerable countries in line with their own national objectives.


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