The world must stop a “war against nature” and find more political will to combat climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday, the eve of a two-week global climate summit in Madrid, Reuters informed.
Around the world, extreme weather ranging from wildfires to floods is being linked to manmade global warming, putting pressure on the summit to strengthen the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement on limiting the rise in temperature.
“Our war against nature must stop, and we know that it is possible,” Guterres said ahead of the December 2-13 summit. “We simply have to stop digging and drilling and take advantage of the vast possibilities offered by renewable energy and nature-based solutions.”
Cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases – mostly from burning carbon-based fossil fuels – that have been agreed so far under the Paris deal are not enough to limit temperature rises to a goal of between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius (2.7-3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, Reuters adds.
Many countries are not even meeting those commitments, and political will is lacking, Guterres said.
President Donald Trump for his part has started withdrawing the United States from the Paris Agreement, while the deforestation of the Amazon basin – a crucial carbon reservoir – is accelerating and China has tilted back toward building more coal-fired power plants.