World is on ‘highway to hell’ – UN chief
The world must choose whether to cut emissions or condemn future generations to a climate catastrophe, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned while speaking at the COP27 summit in Egypt on Monday.
“Humanity has a choice: cooperate or perish,” Guterres told delegates gathered to discuss how to combat change amid an ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine and rising global inflation and energy shortages.
Guterres insisted that the world’s richest and poorest counties must form a pact to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels, singling out China and the United States as two countries that have a “particular responsibility to join efforts to make this pact a reality.”
It is either a climate solidarity pact or a collective suicide pact.
“Greenhouse gas emissions keep growing. Global temperatures keep rising. And our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible,” Guterres said, proclaiming that “we are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator.”
The UN chief’s warnings were seconded by former US vice president Al Gore, who also emphasized the need to end the reliance on fossil fuels. “We must see the so-called ‘dash for gas’ for what it really is: A dash down a bridge to nowhere, leaving the countries of the world facing climate chaos and billions in stranded assets, especially here in Africa,” he said.
Guterres also pointed out that the world must achieve net zero emissions by 2050 if the signatories of the 2015 Paris Climate agreement wish to achieve their long-term goal of keeping global temperatures from rising by more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
Last week, notorious teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg suggested battling climate change by eliminating capitalism, which she said was defined by “colonialism, imperialism, oppression and genocide by the so-called global North.”