By Oisin Sweeney • 02 December 2020 • 9:45
THE UN CHIEF has warned that humanity must take major steps to end our ‘suicidal war’ with nature by reducing carbon emissions.
In a speech entitled State of the Planet, Antonio Gutteres warns that ‘our planet is broken’ and that ‘nature always strikes back, and is doing so with gathering force and fury’. He says that the UN’s ‘central objective’ in 2021 will be to create a collective approach to attaining carbon neutrality worldwide. This would entail removing as much carbon from the atmosphere as is emitted.
Guterres says that each nation, city, business, and lawmaker ‘should adopt plans for a transition to zero net emissions by 2050’. The UN has called for an annual carbon reduction of 6% for the next decade or ‘things will get worse. Much worse’.
‘Without concerted action, we may be headed for a catastrophic three to five-degree temperature rise this century’, Gutteres warns, adding that ‘apocalyptic fires and floods, cyclones and hurricanes’ have become the ‘new normal.’ He says that ‘biodiversity is collapsing. Deserts are spreading. Oceans are choking with plastic waste’.
The UN chief says that the world must take drastic action, such as putting a price on carbon and shifting the tax burden of pollution from the public to those responsible. ‘We must forge a safer, more sustainable and equitable path’ he concludes, saying there is hope for the future as the EU, US, UK and Japan have joined over 110 nations in a pledge for carbon neutrality by the mid-century.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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