Monday, 05 Dec 2022

UN chief warns we will be doomed without historic climate pact

UN chief warns we will be doomed without historic climate pact


UN chief warns we will be doomed without historic climate pact

Rich countries must sign a "historic pact" with the poor on the climate, or "we will be doomed", the UN secretary-general, António Guterres, has warned, as a deepening gulf between the developed and developing world has put climate talks on the brink.

The stark warning comes as world leaders start to gather for the UN Cop27 climate summit, which opens on Sunday in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, but which even the hosts admit will be the most difficult in at least a decade.

Cop27 is taking place amid the worst geopolitical tensions for years, over the Ukraine war, a spiralling global cost of living crisis, and deepening economic gloom.

But the gulf must be bridged if humanity is to have a hope of avoiding the worst ravages of climate breakdown, Guterres said.

"There is no way we can avoid a catastrophic situation, if the two [the developed and developing world] are not able to establish a historic pact," he told the Guardian in an interview on the eve of the summit. "Because at the present level, we will be doomed."

Developed nations have failed to cut greenhouse gas emissions fast enough and failed to provide the money needed for poor nations to cope with the resulting extreme weather. The glaring climate inequality between the rich world, which is responsible for most emissions, and the poor, which are bearing the brunt of the impacts, is now the biggest issue at the talks, according to Guterres.

"Present policies [on the climate] will be absolutely catastrophic," he said. "And the truth is that we will not be able to change this situation if a pact is not put in place between developed countries and the emerging economies."

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