CLIMATE CHANGE (Times Of Ocean)- The Unites Nations chief Antonio Guterres accused governments and businesses of “lying” about climate change efforts in a landmark report released on Monday (Apr 4).
The UN Secretary General Guterres said the world must ditch coal, oil, and gas and pursue renewable energy without delay to avoid a “climate disaster”.
Several government and business leaders say one thing, but do something else. In short, they are lying. And the results will be catastrophic,” Guterres said in a video released alongside a UN report on how to halt the worst effects of global warming.
Scientists warn that too little is being done to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, which are causing global warming.
Five months after rallying world leaders at the inconclusive COP26 climate summit, the UN chief hardened his rhetoric further, targeting the governments and companies that must halt emissions.
Reports by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have shown that human-caused warming has already caused a rise in deadly storms, droughts, fires, and floods, and even wiped out some species.
As part of the 2016 Paris accords, countries agreed to limit global temperature rise to “well below” two degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial levels, and to 1.5 degrees Celsius if possible.
The IPCC warned that time is almost running out in its last of three major reports. Earth is on track for 3.2 degrees Celsius of warming if current policies are not improved.
“High-emitting governments and corporations are not just turning a blind eye; they are adding fuel to the flames,” Guterres said.
“They are choking our planet, based on their vested interests and historic investments in fossil fuels, when cheaper, renewable solutions provide green jobs, energy security, and greater price stability.”
At the COP26 summit, pledges were made to stop deforestation, curb methane emissions, phase down coal-fired power, and increase financial aid to developing countries.
But Guterres said the latest report highlighted a lack of action.
Guterres named it “a file of shame, cataloguing the empty pledges that put us firmly on track towards an unliveable world”.
By 2050, hundreds of companies plan to reach “net zero” emissions.
In spite of this, companies are still planning new fossil fuel extraction projects, insisting that some oil and gas will still be necessary to meet the needs of billions of people as the transition to renewable energy runs its course.
“Investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure is morally and economically mad,” Guterres said.
“To keep the 1.5-degree limit agreed in Paris within reach, we need to cut global emissions by 45 percent this decade,” he added.
“But current climate pledges would mean a 14 per cent increase in emissions”, compared to 2010 levels, he said.
“And most major emitters are not taking the steps needed to fulfil even these inadequate promises.”
Amid complaints that many parts of the world are suffering from rising food and energy prices due to the COVID19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, he insisted that “increasing fossil fuel production will only exacerbate the problem”.