In a stark warning that the world is hurtling towards a critical juncture, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has declared an end to the era of global warming and sounded the alarm on the arrival of an "era of global boiling."
The secretary-general's plea for immediate and radical action on climate change comes in the wake of record-breaking July temperatures, further underlining the urgency of the crisis.
Global Boiling As Earth Nears Tipping Point
Speaking in New York, Guterres drew attention to the intense heat engulfing the Northern Hemisphere, describing the situation as a "cruel summer." He emphasised the severity of the consequences, stating, "For the entire planet, it is a disaster."
Scientists' predictions about the severity of climate change have indeed come true, as emphasised by Minal Pathak, a renowned scientist, who warned in an earlier interview with SheThePeople, "The Earth is very close to the tipping point."
She further emphasised, "The door isn't closed yet, but there's very little space left." Scientist Pathak's earlier statement rings even more relevant now, given the escalating climate crisis and the paucity of time.
"Climate change is here, it is terrifying, And it is just the beginning. The era of global warming has ended; the era of global boiling has arrived." echoed Guterres during his address in New York.
With July 2023 projected to shatter records across the board, Guterres highlighted that the situation is "short of a mini-Ice Age,” following the record-breaking temperatures. He urged leaders to acknowledge that the "only surprise is the speed of the change," emphasising the necessity that the reality echoes the repeated warnings of scientists.
The gravity of the situation leaves no room for denial or complacency, and the UN chief emphasised that humanity has no choice but to confront this reality head-on.
The fossil fuel sector also faced criticism in Guterres' address. He stressed that the profitability of this industry must not come at the expense of the planet's health, stating, "The air is unbreathable. The heat is unbearable. And the level of fossil fuel profits and climate inaction is unacceptable."
With the Climate Ambition Summit just around the corner, scheduled to be hosted by Guterres in September, he called on developed countries to make bold commitments to achieve carbon neutrality as close to 2040 as possible. He also emphasised the importance of emerging economies aligning to achieve carbon neutrality as close as possible to 2050.
The urgency of collective action from all nations
"Leaders must lead," Guterres urged, demanding an end to hesitancy and excuses, calling for all nations to act swiftly in curbing their carbon emissions. "No more waiting for others to move first." The urgency of the situation necessitates bold decisions and collective efforts from all nations.
As the planet stands at the brink of a catastrophic tipping point, Guterres emphasised that the "destruction" caused by humanity should spur action, not despair. He firmly urged the global community to turn a "year of burning heat into a year of burning ambition."
The clarion call from the UN chief serves as a wake-up call for leaders worldwide, urging them to put aside their differences and work collectively to combat climate change before it's too late. With the fate of the planet at stake, the time for action is now, and the global community must rise to the challenge. Only through collective determination and immediate action can we hope to secure a sustainable future for generations to come.
Time is of the essence, and the race against climate change must be won together.
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