The past year was an extreme year in terms of hurricanes, wildfires, and heatwaves. In addition to reports which highlighted 2020’s weather and the growing fossil fuel extraction that could potentially trigger global warming, it seems that humanity was facing a new war. The UN chief has warned that war again humanity that’s unprecedented in history draws near and could destroy our future before we have completely deciphered the risk.
This message from Antonio Guterra was promptly followed by a global upheaval and the COVID-19 pandemic that led to governments shutting down countries for many months. There were also wildfires, storms, and hurricanes all around, which were enough to scar the globe. Guterres has stated that humanity is choosing to wage war on nature, which is quite suicidal because nature is one to strike back. Guterres states that natures have begun the process with force and fury with biodiversity slowly collapsing, a million species standing a chance of getting extinct. Ecosystems are also being lost right in front of us, and it is our activities that have led to this chaos. He states that we are also the solution to our problem.
The UN chief stated some of the wounds inflicted by humans on the natural world. Some of them included the overfished ocean, cutting down forests, spreading the desert and losing wetlands, air pollution, and the continuous human infectious diseases that come from animals. Guterres had formally spoken on these dangers, but this was one time he used strong language. He has made it quite clear that the only way to mitigate these issues is by making peace with nature. He states that this should be a top priority for everyone globally.
The UN chief states that future generations are more likely to suffer from the actions being taken today. It’s a moral test, and we can’t lock in policies using vital resources to burden our future generations with a large debt on a broken plant. He states that at the heart of the problem is inequality because even in the richest countries, the poorest and most vulnerable citizens end up facing the attack most. He states that greenhouse gas emissions were about 62% higher than in 1990, and 2020 has been recorded down as one of the warmest years on record. This is despite the La Nina cooling effects.
Despite the COVID-19, the US emissions are set to begin again. However, the UN chief has struck a note of hope with many countries like China, the EU, and the President-Elect, Joe Biden, adopting a net-zero emission target by 2050. With renewable energy now considerably cheaper than cool and electric vehicles gaining pace, Guterra believes that 2021 is a sort of leap year, and the leap is towards carbon neutrality. He states that the best ally is a sound economic alliance, and it is time for governments and investors to switch to the green size while there’s still time.
The UN Chief looks forward to the UN Cop26 climate talks when nations will come together to make a decision towards a globally green economy. He expects governments to affirm their Paris agreement plans to reduce greenhouse emissions within the next decade. Governments would need to transform pledges into policies and targets with timelines to give businesses and the financial sector the confidence need to invest in net zero-emission.
The UN chief also calls for several nations to put a price on carbon emission while cutting off investments in fossil fuels. Coal power plants shouldn’t be built anymore, and fossil fuel subsidies should be phased out. He states that taxes should not be placed on incomes but rather on pollution. He has stated that another crisis to be addressed is the biodiversity crises, and there are many opportunities available to stop plundering and begin the healing. Although there is no vaccine to cure the warming of climates, there is an antidote for it. Plans are also being made to provide developing countries with financial assistance so that a global consensus can be reached on the net-zero emission goal. The goal is to benefit all sections of society and, therefore, effectively to cut off inequality.