UN Chief Warns of 'Total Disaster' if 'Climate Change' Not Stopped
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warns of 'catastrophic situation'
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has warned that we are heading for "total disaster" if more is not done to fight "Climate Change."
During an interview with The Associated Press, Guterres said the world must dramatically change the way it fuels vehicles, factories, and homes in order to limit "Global Warming" to a level climate scientists claim is almost impossible.
Not tackling Climate Change "would mean a catastrophic situation for the whole world," António Guterres warned.
Guterres said he's due to tour the Pacific Islands to see how they have been impacted by Climate Change as part of his renewed push to fight it.
In September, Guterres is summoning world leaders to the United Nations to tell them "they need to do much more in order for us to be able to reverse the present trends and to defeat the climate change."
The world must change in big "transformative" ways, he says, with countries switching to a "green economy" with electric vehicles and "clean cities."
Guterres said he will ask world leaders to stop supporting fossil fuels and quit burning coal, oil, and gas.
According to Fox News, he said he wants countries to build no new coal power plants after 2020.
He wants them to put a price on the use of carbon.
And ultimately he wants to make sure that by 2050 the world is no longer putting more greenhouse gases into the air than nature sucks out.
In 2015, the world's nations set a goal to limit global warming to no more than 0.9 degrees (0.5 degrees Celsius) from now.
Most scientists say it is highly unlikely, if not outright undoable.
A panel of scientists the U.N. asked to look at the issue ran computer models for more than 500 future scenarios, and less than 2% achieved those warming limits.
Guterres said the wholesale economic changes needed to keep the temperature from rising another degree or more may be painful, but there will be more pain if the world fails.
"If you don't hang on to that goal, what you'll achieve is a total disaster," the secretary-general said in his 38th-floor conference room.
If countries only do what they promised in the 2015 Paris climate agreement, it would be catastrophic because the world would warm by another 4.5 degrees (2.5 degrees Celsius), Guterres said, adding "that is why we need to dramatically accelerate... what everybody knows needs to be done."
Yet, globally the trends are going the other way.
University of Michigan environment dean Jonathan Overpeck said it looks unlikely that the world could prevent another 1.8 degrees (1 Celsius) of warming, let alone 0.9 degrees.
And in an odd way that gives the U.N. chief optimism.
The public, especially youths, will realize that Global Warming is "a dramatic threat to the whole of humankind," Guterres said.
So the worse it gets, the more people will demand change, he said.
That's why he's about to visit the islands of Fiji, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu in the Pacific Ocean, which he claims is hit hardest by Climate Change.
Guterres said he wants to use the determination and moral authority of the people who live on the threatened islands to convince world leaders to make the necessary changes.