The world is advancing “with eyes closed to climate catastrophe,” warned UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has asked major powers to abandon their dependence on fossil fuels.
Guterres announced during the Economist’s sustainable development conference in London that the goal of limiting temperature rise to +1.5 degrees Celsius in relation to the pre-industrial era is “intensive care”.
According to the United Nations, emissions must be cut by 45% between now and 2030 in order not to cross the +1.5°C threshold. But emissions continue to rise and the planet has already reached +1.1 degrees Celsius, which is multiplying, according to scientists who study climate change, and extreme events, such as major droughts or catastrophic floods.
“The problem is getting worse,” Guterres said in a pre-recorded video message, in which he noted that in 2020, climate disasters have already forced 30 million people to leave their homes, “three times the number of people displaced by conflict.”
He added, “If we continue with that, we can say goodbye to the 1.5°C target. +2°C may also be out of reach.”
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