UN chief Guterres warns of ‘point of no return’ on climate change

MADRID: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday that the world’s efforts to stop climate change had been “utterly inadequate” so far.

UN chief Guterres warns of ‘point of no return’ on climate change

Antonio Guterres. AFP file

Madrid, December 2

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday that the world’s efforts to stop climate change had been “utterly inadequate” so far and there is a danger that global warming could pass the “point of no return”.

Speaking before the start on Monday of a two-week international climate conference in Madrid, the UN chief said the impact of rising temperatures—including more extreme weather—is already being felt around the world, with dramatic consequences for humans and other species.

He noted that the world had the scientific knowledge and the technical means to limit global warming, but “what is lacking is political will”. “The point of no return is no longer over the horizon,” Guterres told reporters in the Spanish capital. “It is in sight and hurtling towards us.”

Delegates from almost 200 countries will try to put the finishing touches on the rules governing the 2015 Paris climate accord at the December 2-13 meeting, including how to create functioning international emissions trading systems and compensate poor countries for losses they suffer from rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change.

Guterres cited mounting scientific evidence for the impact that man-made emissions of greenhouse gases are already having on the planet, including record temperatures and melting polar ice. AP

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