UN chief calls for greater action to address climate change

  • Saturday 14, September 2019 01:10 PM
Sharjah 24 - World leaders attending the upcoming UN Climate Action Summit are being urged to show up armed not with speeches but with plans to achieve carbon neutrality, reduce emissions and improve adaptation.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres issued the charge on Friday during a visit to The Bahamas, which continues to reel from the onslaught of Hurricane Dorian. UN agencies are on the ground to support relief efforts in the affected islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama.

Speaking to journalists in the capital, Nassau, the UN chief expressed international solidarity with the Government and people of the island nation.

"In some areas, more than three-quarters of all buildings have been destroyed, hospitals in ruins or overwhelmed, schools turned into rubble. Thousands of people will continue to need help with food, water and shelter, and many more facing the uncertainties of the future after having lost everything," he said.

Guterres noted that the climate crisis has generated "turbocharged" hurricanes and storms, which are occurring with greater intensity and frequency. And without urgent action, climate disruption will only get worse, packing what he described as "a triple punch of injustice."

While the financial cost of Hurricane Dorian has not yet been determined, Guterres estimated it will be in the billions of dollars.

Guterres called for greater global action. "The entire international community must address the climate crisis through rising ambition and action to implement the Paris Agreement."

"The best available science, as reported by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, says we must ensure collectively that global temperature rise does not go beyond 1.5 degrees. And it says we have a window of less than 11 years to avoid irreversible climate disruption and that we must reduce emissions by 45 percent by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050," he continued.

"And this is why I am asking all leaders to come to the climate summit with plans, not speeches, in New York in one week’s time."