The world has less than two years to avoid “runaway climate change,” United Nations Secretary General António Guterres told world leaders in New York, The Hill reported.
“If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change,” Guterres said, stressing that “climate change is the defining issue of our time, and we are at a defining moment. Scientists have been telling us for decades. Over and over again. Far too many leaders have refused to listen.”
Guterres made his call for action as the Global Climate Action Summit takes place in San Francisco this week, which aims to mobilize international and local leaders, VOA reported.
Guterres praised the Paris Climate Accord but also urged more efforts to cut down the emissions that scientists say have been warming the planet over the past century.
President Donald Trump withdrew from the accord last year, a move that isolated the U.S. from the rest of the world on climate change.
Guterres rejected claims from critics who say that shifting away from fossil fuels like oil and coal would be costly, calling that notion “hogwash.”
He emphasized that “Climate change is moving faster than we are,” saying that “We need to put the brake on deadly greenhouse gas emissions and drive climate action,” The Guardian reported.
Guterres said people worldwide are suffering from record-breaking temperatures, wildfires, storms and that floods “are leaving a trail of death and devastation.”
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