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In a dire warning, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered a powerful message on July 27th, urging leaders to take immediate and radical action on climate change. He expressed deep concern over the record-shattering July temperatures, which he believes signify the beginning of an alarming “era of global boiling,” surpassing the previous phase of global warming.
Guterres described the extreme heat experienced across the Northern Hemisphere during July as a “cruel summer“ that spells disaster for the entire planet. The impending breaking of numerous temperature records in July 2023 is a stark reminder of the urgency of the climate crisis. “For the entire planet, it is a disaster,“ Antonio stated, stressing the severity of the situation.
The UN chief emphasized that climate change is no longer a distant threat but an immediate and terrifying reality. The era of global warming is now behind us, and the world has entered a new phase where the consequences of climate change are severe and life-threatening. Guterres underscored the need for swift and decisive action to address this critical issue.
Guterres pointed out that the extreme impacts of climate change align with scientists’ predictions and warnings, with the only surprise being the rapidity of these changes. He again called out the fossil fuel sector, condemning their high profits and inaction despite the dire situation.
“The air is unbreathable. The heat is unbearable. And the level of fossil fuel profits and climate inaction is unacceptable,“ stated the former Portuguese prime minister.
The UN chief called upon global leaders to end hesitancy, excuses, and waiting for others to act. Urging for a swift and far-reaching response to the climate crisis, Guterres demanded immediate action from all nations to confront the impending catastrophe.
Looking ahead to the Climate Ambition Summit scheduled for September, Guterres urged developed countries to commit to achieving carbon neutrality as close to 2040 as possible. He also called on emerging economies to set the same goal, aiming for carbon neutrality as close to 2050 as they can manage.
In the face of the destruction caused by climate change, Guterres stressed the importance of transforming despair into action. He urged the world to turn this “year of burning heat“ into a “year of burning ambition“ to tackle the climate crisis and prevent the worst outcomes.
The UN’s warning signals a critical moment in the fight against climate change. With July 2023 poised to break temperature records, world leaders must heed Guterres’ call for immediate and radical action. The situation’s urgency demands an end to reliance on fossil fuels and the implementation of sustainable practices.
As the world approaches the Climate Ambition Summit in September, developed nations must lead by committing to carbon neutrality by 2040. Simultaneously, emerging economies must increase their efforts and strive for carbon neutrality as close to 2050 as possible.
The era of global boiling is upon us, and the consequences are devastating. The time for inaction is over; now is the time for every nation and individual to rise to the challenge and work collectively to secure a sustainable and habitable planet for future generations.
Let us transform this “year of burning heat“ into a defining moment of ambition and determination in the fight against climate change and ensure a safer and more sustainable future for all. It is only this way that we can fight global boiling together.