New York, September 23, 2019 (CABNC): At the opening of the UN Climate Action Summit, UN chief said he would not be a “silent witness to the crime of dooming our present and destroying” the right of future generations to a sustainable future adding that leader has an obligation “to do everything to stop the climate crisis before it stops us.”
Guterres said despite the immense effects of climate change, he remained hopeful. He added, “This is not a climate talk summit. We have had enough talk. This is not a climate negotiation summit, because we don’t negotiate with nature. This is a climate action summit.”
The UN chief said his generation has failed in its responsibility to protect the planet and this must change, adding that the climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win. He noted that readily-available technological substitutions already exist for more than 70 per cent of today’s emissions.
“Dear friends, there is a cost to everything. But the biggest cost is doing nothing. The biggest cost is subsidizing a dying fossil fuel industry, building more and more coal power plants, and denying what is plain as day; that we are in a deep climate hole and to get out, we must first stop digging.”
Guterres added that the world faces at least 3-degrees Celsius of global heating by the end of the century. He said, “I will not be there, but my granddaughters will and your grandchildren, too. I refuse to be an accomplice in the destruction of their one and only home. I will not be a silent witness to the crime of dooming our present and destroying their right to a sustainable future. It is my obligation – our obligation – to do everything to stop the climate crisis before it stops us.”
Swedish climate activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg said her presence at the Summit was not fair adding that she should instead be in school across the ocean. She said the science has been crystal clear for over 30 years, but the solutions needed are nowhere in sight.
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, and yet I am one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy-tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?”
The 16-year-old activist said cutting emissions in half over ten years only gives the world a 50 per cent chance on staying below 1.5 degrees temperate rise, which would lead to irreversible damage. She noted that to have a 67 per cent chance, the best odds given by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCCC), the world had 420 gigatons of carbon left to emit as of January 1, 2018. She said that figure today was down to less than 350 gigatons, which at the current emission rate would be exhausted in just eight and a half years.
Thunberg told world leaders, “There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures today, because these numbers are too uncomfortable, and you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is. You are failing us. But young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now, is where we draw the line. The world is waking up and change is coming whether you like it or not.”
By: AbdulRasheed Abubakar, CABNC TV New York