UN Chief Says World 'Sleepwalking' to Climate Catastrophe
UN Chief Antonio Guterres criticised countries for allowing carbon pollution to increase drastically and urged them to bring policies to curb it at the earliest. He said the world is "sleepwalking to climate catastrophe".
The goal of saving the earth by capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celcius is "on life support", Guterres said in a sustainability conference recently held in London.
According to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the planet-saving goal requires a 45 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by mid-century.
Even though all these goals are in place under the Paris Agreement, emissions are likely to rise by 14 per cent before the decade ends.
Guterres said in a pre-recorded video message, "the problem is getting worse. The world is sleepwalking to climate catastrophe. If we continue with more of the same, we can kiss 1.5C goodbye even two degrees may be out of reach."
The comments of the Secretary-general had come hours before the IPCC started a two-week meeting to verify a report on alternatives for reducing carbon pollution and extracting CO2 from the atmosphere.
He expressed disappointment on COVID recovery spending and described it as "scandalously uneven". He also said we missed an opportunity to accelerate the energy transition.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated the situation with importers increasing dependency on Russian oil and gas, which is hard to replace with another option.