"U.N. Chief Antonio Guterres' Stark Warning: Earth in the 'Era of Global Boiling'"


On July 27, Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations, issued a warning about the state of the climate on our planet. He urged swift and decisive action in response to the unusually high temperatures in July, which show that Earth has begun a new phase he called "global boiling." A global emergency is being created by the great anguish brought on by the intense heat throughout the whole Northern Hemisphere.

Guterres highlighted that climate change is a scary reality we are currently facing, not a threat that will only affect us in the future. He said that we need to take prompt, decisive action because the effects of climate change are serious and urgent. Numerous temperature records are predicted to be broken in July 2023, highlighting how urgent the climate problem is.

Guterres called for converting inertia into practical and ambitious action after expressing alarm about the grave effects of climate change that are consistent with experts' forecasts. He lambasted the fossil fuel sector for maintaining exorbitant profits in the face of the catastrophic circumstances.

Achieving carbon neutrality for rich nations by 2040 and for emerging economies with burgeoning economies as soon as possible by 2050, Guterres pleaded with world leaders. He emphasized the necessity of overcoming hopelessness and turning this "burning heat year" into a "burning ambition year" in order to combat climate change and lessen its worst effects.

World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and European Copernicus Climate Change Service experts in Geneva described the present weather as "extraordinary and unprecedented," with three of the hottest days ever recorded in July and the warmest three-week period ever. The hottest July ever is expected to occur this year. Despite the end of the La Nia cooling event, which had a moderating influence on the world average temperature, sea temperatures at this time of year are at their highest recorded levels since April.

The period of "global warming" has come to an end, according to Guterres, and the era of "global boiling" has begun. He highlighted that even while climate change is obvious, the worst case scenario can still be avoided. He asked G20 leaders, who are in charge of 80% of the world's emissions, to speak out for climate action and climate justice in order to accomplish this.

He pointed to upcoming meetings as key chances for substantive action, like the UN Climate Ambition Summit in September and the COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai in November. In order to attain net-zero emissions by 2050, Guterres emphasized the necessity for fresh nationally decided commitments and a reliable roadmap.

The Secretary-General emphasized that deceptive tactics and "greenwashing" would no longer be accepted, and he called on businesses, communities, and organizations to act responsibly. By 2025, he demanded that adaptation funding in developing nations double, and that the Green Climate Fund be fully replenished. In order to protect everyone on the earth, he also asked all nations to put in place an early warning system supported by the UN by 2027.

In terms of money, Guterres encouraged wealthier nations to completely honor their climate financing commitments and uphold their promise to give developing countries $100 billion annually in climate help.

In general, Guterres highlighted that we must work together to confront the climate catastrophe in order to protect the future of our planet for future generations. The moment for action is now. In his words, "I am concerned that only two G7 countries - Canada and Germany - have made commitments for replenishment so far." Countries ought to participate in this year's COP28's Loss and Damage Mechanism as well. No more delays or justifications.

The urgent need for "reform in the global financial system" to assist climate action was also reaffirmed by Secretary-General Guterres. Putting a price on carbon and utilizing multilateral development banks to finance adaptation, mitigation, and loss and damage would be necessary for this.

He underlined the value of international cooperation during the General Assembly on Friday, saying, "When there is more certainty in uncertainty, countries need to come together to create a new, more optimistic, and equal path."

He emphasized a number of pressing issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the moral collapse of the international banking system, the climatic crisis, cyber disorder, and the deterioration of peace and security. He challenged nations to "go into emergency mode" and take action right away since their actions will define how the world will develop over the ensuing decades.

Alarm No. 1: COVID-19 Conflict

In his address, Secretary-General Guterres emphasized that halting the coronavirus's spread should be the top priority worldwide and urged nations to "go into emergency mode" in the fight against COVID-19. He also underlined the need for judgments to be grounded in science and general understanding and that the virus cannot be used as a "cover" to undermine freedom, civic space, or human rights. He emphasized the disparity in vaccine coverage around the world, with 40% of people still without immunizations by year's end and 70% by the middle of this year.

Giving COVAX First Priority

African nations have immunization rates that are seven times greater than those of developed nations, which suggests that the continent may not reach the 70% mark until August 2024. Additionally, despite the production of 1.5 billion dosages per month, the distribution is still "extremely uneven."

Instead of the virus spreading like wildfire, Secretary-General Guterres urged all nations and vaccine producers to prioritize the production of COVAX, saying, "We need a wildfire spread of vaccines."

In order to be ready for upcoming pandemics, he also emphasized the need to combat vaccine disinformation and increase the power of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Alarm No. 2: Changes to the International Financial System

The collapse of the international financial system has been revealed by the pandemic, according to Secretary-General Guterres. It deprives the wealthy and punishes the underprivileged.

He supported measures to keep economies from collapsing during financial crises but asserted that uneven investment results in uneven recovery. As a result, middle-income nations are not eligible for debt relief despite their poverty levels rising, while developing nations are seeing their slowest development in a generation. He emphasized how most women and girls around the world pay the highest costs for health care, education, and employment.

"The cure for instabilities"

A fault line between wealthy and developing countries is emerging, Secretary-General Guterres said, and this is a recipe for instability, catastrophe, and forced migration. This mismatch is a characteristic of the global financial system, not a problem.

He has constantly demanded changes to the global financial system since the outbreak of the epidemic in order to better aid impoverished nations. In addition to an impartial global tax system and combating illegal financial flows, the recommended remedies also include reallocating Special Drawing Rights, a form of foreign reserve asset, to those nations that are in need.

This year, Secretary-General Guterres will continue to advocate for these reforms and has requested assistance from nations.

Climate Emergency, Alarm 3

According to the Secretary-General, governments have no choice but to declare a "state of emergency" in order to combat the climate disaster. The globe is far off the path to keep the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as specified in the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Global emissions must be reduced by up to 45% by the end of this decade in order to achieve carbon neutrality by the middle of the century, calling for a "quantum leap in action" by 2022.

Encourage the green revolution.

The Secretary-General highlighted that as developed and industrialized countries are the main emitters, they should cooperate, recognize their unique responsibilities, and move more quickly and vehemently. He urged the creation of coalitions that offer resources and technology to nations, including some significant emitters, that require aid switching from coal to renewable sources of energy.

Until they jointly reach the 45% emission reduction goal, all governments must reinforce their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement and improve their climate action plans.

No new coal power, no new coal plants, insisted the Secretary-General. no brand-new coal mines. By 2030, the amount of money invested in renewable energy will have tripled, reaching $5 trillion.

Rich nations must also follow through on their commitment to give developing nations $100 billion in climate funding starting this year.

Inspiration and Action

It is also an immediate priority to take action on climate adaption. Countries agreed to double the funding for climate adaptation to $20 billion at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow last year. The Secretary-General called this commitment "a good first step," but it is still insufficient.

He realized that extraordinary efforts were required to build climate resilience and he looked to young people as an inspiration. "Young people are at the vanguard of driving development, just like on so many other topics. Let us act on their request," he urged the diplomats.

Alarm No. 4: Cyberspace and technology

While technology provides humanity with amazing prospects, the growing digital lawlessness benefits evil forces and denies opportunity to the average person. The concerns of extending digital access to almost three billion people offline, such as data misuse, false information, and cybercrimes, were emphasized by the Secretary-General.

"Our personal information is being weaponized against us; it is being used to influence our actions, alter our moral convictions, rift us, and weaken our democracies. Our preferences are used, and our decisions are moulded, without our knowledge, he claimed.

In order to alter the business strategy of social media corporations that benefit from algorithms that put interaction ahead of public safety, he urged for a strong regulatory framework.

In order to put a stop to the infodemic and science deception, he recommended the creation of a Global Digital Compact, which would unite governments, the commercial sector, and civil society behind shared standards for upholding the integrity of online information.

Also encouraged are new governance frameworks for biotechnology and neurotechnology, as well as efforts to restrict lethal autonomous weaponry, or "killer robots."

Alarm 5: Safety and tranquility

The need for peace is urgent given that there are now more violent conflicts on the planet than at any time since 1945. Countries should address issues including assaults on the rule of law and human rights, rising nationalism, racism, and extremism, as well as the growing humanitarian crises brought on by climate change.

The Secretary-General emphasized the United Nations' dedication to maintaining peace and urged group initiatives in various geographic areas to support global action on conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and conflict resolution.

He emphasized the crucial role played by women in conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and peacekeeping, highlighting their inclusion in decision-making and peace process mediation efforts.

The Secretary-General appealed for a more powerful and effective UN and called for additional funding for peacekeeping and conflict prevention in the face of the various conflicts occurring throughout the world.

He urged member nations to regularly fund the UN's budget, noting that the UN has improved its operations significantly in recent years.

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