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Climate ambition summit: Humanity has opened the gates of hell, says Guterres

Climate ambition summit: Humanity has opened the gates of hell, says Guterres
September 21
06:51 2023

António Guterres, United Nations secretary general, says “humanity has opened the gates of hell” and is pushing towards a dangerous and unstable world.

Speaking during the opening of the climate ambition summit, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Guterres said the scale of the challenges has “dwarfed” climate actions.

He said the world still has the capacity to course correct if only global leaders would take action and support developing countries in addressing the crises.

“Our focus here is on climate solutions – and our task is urgent. Humanity has opened the gates of hell,” Guterres said.


“Horrendous heat is having horrendous effects. Distraught farmers watching crops carried away by floods. Sweltering temperatures spawning disease and thousands flee in fear as historic fires rage.

“Climate action is dwarfed by the scale of the challenge, if nothing changes we are heading towards a 2.8 degrees temperature rise towards a dangerous and unstable world.

“The future is not fixed, it is for leaders like you to write it. We can still limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees. We can still build a world of clean air, green jobs and affordable clean power for all.”


He said “climate champions, particularly in the developing world, need solidarity,” adding that they need global leaders to take action.

Guterres said governments must take “immediate steps” to rescue the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and find joint financing solutions to rebuild global solidarity and create new momentum for climate action.

He proposed a climate solidarity pact that would ensure major emitters make extra efforts to cut emissions and wealthy countries support emerging economies to do the same.

“Many of the poorest nations have every right to be angry. We need a transformation to rebuild trust. Together, we must turn this moment of crisis into a moment of opportunity,” he added.







This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.

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