Climate: humans risk experiencing the same fate as dinosaurs, says UN chief

Climate: humans risk experiencing the same fate as dinosaurs, says UN chief
Climate: humans risk experiencing the same fate as dinosaurs, says UN chief

Humans, responsible for warming, represent the same “danger” for the planet as “the meteorite which exterminated the dinosaurs”, deplored the UN Secretary General on Wednesday, attacking in particular fossil fuels, which should be deprived of publicity.

On the scale of Earth’s history, humanity is only a “blip” but “like the meteorite that exterminated the dinosaurs, we have an immense impact”, launched Antonio Guterres during a speech at the Natural History Museum in New York, on the occasion of World Environment Day.

“In the case of climate, we are not the dinosaurs. We are the meteorite. We are not only in danger, we are the danger.”

“But we are also the solution,” he continued, calling once again for strengthening climate action to try to limit warming to +1.5°C, the most ambitious objective of the Paris agreement. on the climate, “which hangs by a thread”.

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“The battle for +1.5°C will be won or lost in the 2020s, under the gaze of today’s leaders. “It all depends on the decisions these leaders make — or don’t make — particularly in the next 18 months.”

“This is a critical moment for the climate,” insisted the Secretary General, calling for “take the exit ramp from the highway to hell”, while the countries signatories to the Paris agreement must submit new targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by the start of 2025.

First target of its critics, as usual, the fossil fuel sector (coal, oil, gas), “the godfathers of climate chaos” who “amass record profits and gorge themselves on billions of billions in subsidies paid for by taxes taxpayers.”

He thus repeated his call to tax their profits to finance the fight against global warming, also mentioning, without specifying his idea, “solidarity taxes” on the aviation and maritime transport sectors.

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He also denounced the “complicity” of advertisers in the “shameless greenwashing” of the fossil sector, the main cause of global warming.

“Many governments limit or ban advertising for products harmful to human health, such as tobacco (…) I call on every country to ban advertising for fossil fuel companies.”

He also repeated his calls for rich countries to get out of coal by 2030 and to reduce oil and gas by 60% by 2035.

Rich countries are historically largely more responsible for climate change and should therefore increase their aid to the poorest, he further argued. The poorest countries must prepare for increasingly intense and frequent climate disasters, he recalled.

“We cannot accept a future where the rich are protected in air-conditioned bubbles, while the rest of humanity is hit by deadly weather in unlivable territories.”

Challenge (with AFP)

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