U.N. Secretary: The 'Rise of Nationalism' is Threatening Climate Change
Global trend of nationalist policies making it harder to promote global warming
United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has told the BBC that the current global trend of nationalist policies around is making it challenging to promote 'fighting climate change.'
“I think that it is clear to me that the world is more polarized. We have more and more nationalist approaches being popular and winning an election or having strong election results,” Guterres told the BBC.
“We see the trust between public opinions and institutions — governments, political establishments but also International organization … being eroded.”
The journalist quizzed him on President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement.
“Is it a problem that the world’s most powerful man is a climate change skeptic?” BBC’s New York correspondent Nick Bryant asked Guterres.
“It always helps if everyone is in line with what we think, but we shouldn’t reduce the discussion about climate change to the individual position of this or that leader,” Guterres said.
“It’s a global issue, and we are all failing,” Guterres said. “And in a global issue, we need to mobilize everyone.”
Guterres stated that the Paris climate accord did not go far enough before calling on countries to make an even more “ambitious” dedication to ceasing greenhouse gas emissions.
“Things are getting worse than predicted but the political will today, unfortunately, is not as high as it should be,” Guterres said.
Current national commitments “are inadequate to bridge the emissions gap in 2030,” the U.N. warned in its report.
“Technically, it is still possible to bridge the gap to ensure global warming stays well below 2°C and 1.5°C,” but if global ambitions are not increased before 2030, exceeding the 1.5º C goal “can no longer be avoided.”
“Now more than ever, unprecedented and urgent action is required by all nations,” the report declared.
“The assessment of actions by the G20 countries indicates that this is yet to happen; in fact, global CO2 emissions increased in 2017 after three years of stagnation.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders criticized a new climate-change report as "not based on facts," and "not data-driven" - as the Trump administration's repudiation the statement created by 13 federal agencies.
Sanders denounced the National Climate Assessment before defended Trump's publicly by expressing doubt about its information of probable severe ocean-level rises and connected economic damages.