Every year out summers get hotter and the winters colder than the last, making the climatic conditions worse.
But how bad is it?
According to the UN Chief Antonio Guterres, the floods that hit the southern state of Kerala in India and the hurricane in Puerto Rico that occurred last year is the result of us ignoring the issue of our time- the climate change.
We face a direct existential threat. Climate change is moving faster than we are – and its speed has provoked a sonic boom SOS across our world,” Guterres said in a landmark speech on climate action on Monday.
“Extreme heatwaves, wildfires, storms and floods are leaving a trail of death and devastation. Last month the state of Kerala in India suffered its worst monsoon flooding in recent history, killing 400 people and driving one million more from their homes,” he said.
“Let there be no doubt about the urgency of the crisis. We are experiencing record-breaking temperatures around the world,” he said, adding that according to the World Meteorological Organisation, the past two decades included 18 of the warmest years since 1850 when records began.
And this year is to be the 4th he said.
If the world crosses the point of no return, it will be difficult for people across the planet to survive. Guterres urged the leaders to take notice of the climate change and take the steps to reverse the current course of action.
The Paris Agreement that took place 3 years ago to curb the temperature from rising further is “the bare minimum to avoid the worst impacts of climate change”, he said.
He added that we need to shift from fossil fuels and start using cleaner energy, and to use our resources efficiently.
People often say that combating climate change is expensive and could harm the economic growth. Guterres dismissed these claims and stated that the opposite is true, and “enormous benefits await humankind.”
COSTS & ACTIONS
In his message, Guterres highlighted the huge economic costs of climate change and the opportunities presented by climate action.
“Climate action and socio-economic progress are mutually supportive, with gains of 26 trillion dollars predicted by 2030 compared with business as usual, if we pursue the right path,” he said, citing the findings of the recent Climate Economy report from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate Change.
Guterres said climate-resilient water supply and sanitation could save the lives of more than 360,000 infants every year, clean air has vast benefits for public health and in China and the US, new renewable energy jobs now outstrip those created in the oil and gas industries, noting several examples from across the world of climate action resulting in enormous benefits for countries and communities.
TO THE LEADERS
In September 2019 a ‘Climate Summit’ will be held that will focus on various climate-related issues, particularly the sectors that create the most emissions and the areas where building resilience could make the biggest difference.
“I am calling on all leaders to come to next year’s Climate Summit prepared to report not only on what they are doing but what more they intend to do when they convene in 2020 for the UN climate conference and where commitments will be renewed and surely ambitiously increased,” he said.
TO THE YOUTH
“There is no more time to waste. We are careering towards the edge of the abyss,” Guterres said, adding that though it is not too late to shift course, “every day that passes means the world heats up a little more and the cost of our inaction mounts.”