By Philippine News Agency
UN chief Antonio Guterres bluntly warned world leaders that the impact of climate change could affect food production, water security and weather patterns “from Canada to India”, amid threats by US President Donald Trump that he may pull out of the landmark Paris deal.
Guterres said climate change is “undeniable”, in a stark contrast to the position taken by Trump, who has previously called it a “a hoax” and last week shrugged off pressure from US allies during the G7 summit in Sicily to endorse the deal his predecessor Barack Obama worked passionately to achieve.
In his first major speech on climate change since he assumed charge as the head of the UN this January, the UN secretary-general said the “world is in a mess” and urged the international community to “stay the course” even if one government does not believe in the emissions-cutting deal.
“Yes, not everyone will move at the same pace or with equal vigor. But if any government doubts the global will and need for this accord, that is reason for all others to unite even stronger and stay the course,” he told students, business leaders and academics at the New York University Stern School of Business.
“It is a reason to build ever broader coalitions with civil society and business, with cities and states, with academia and community leaders,” Guterres said yesterday.
His speech comes as Trump this week decides whether the US — the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China — will adhere to the limit its emissions as laid out in the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
While Guterres did not mention Trump or his administration in his speech, but later responding to a question from the audience, he said the UN believes “it would be important for the US not to leave the Paris agreement” and even if Trump withdraws, “it’s very important for the US society as a whole the cities, the states, the companies, the businesses to remain engaged” with the agreement.
He pointed out the seriousness of climate change and said its effects were dangerous and they were accelerating. The climate change could affect food production, water security and weather patterns “from Canada to India,” he warned.
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