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UN Calls On Humanity To End ‘War On Nature’ And Go Carbon-Free

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The United Nations chief has delivered an urgent appeal for humanity to ‘end its war on nature’ and commit to a carbon-free future.

Ahead of the fifth anniversary of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres challenged world leaders to help curb climate change in 2021.

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‘The state of the planet is broken. Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal,’ Guterres said in a speech at Columbia University.

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‘Apocalyptic fires and floods, cyclones and hurricanes are increasingly the new normal,’ he added, as per the Associated Press.

In a new report released this year, the World Meteorological Organization said the year 2020 is set to end approximately 1.2 degrees Celsius warmer than the last half of the 1800s.

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Scientists use this figure from the 1800s as a baseline for warming caused by heat-trapping gases from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas.

Most of this trapped heat enters world’s oceans, causing temperatures to rise. These temperatures are now at a record level, which means 2020 could go down as one of the three hottest years on record.

Polar bear on mePA Images

The Paris climate accord had set a goal of not exceeding 1.5-degree warming since pre-industrial times.

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While Guterres said we are extremely close to a ‘climate catastrophe’ he also welcomed the news that more than 100 countries across the world have pledged to not add any more heat-trapping gas to the atmosphere than what trees and technology can remove by the middle of this century.

Several countries have also outlined shorter-term pollution cuts. Specifically, China and the US, under President-elect Joe Biden, have promised to net zero carbon emissions.

‘I firmly believe that 2021 can be a new kind of leap year — the year of a quantum leap towards carbon neutrality,’ Guterres said.

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In order to achieve this, he urged world leaders to stop funding and subsiding fossil fuels, adding that wealthy countries must fulfill their Paris promise to spend $100 billion annually to help poorer countries develop cleaner energy.

In particular, he zeroes in on the US. Guterres said there was ‘no way’ the world could curb climate change ‘without US leadership’.

In his speech, he asked the American public to do ‘everything’ possible to force their governments to curb carbon emissions quicker.

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Topics: News, Carbon Emissions, Climate Change, Global Warming, Now, Paris Climate Agreement, United Nations

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NBC
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    U.N. chief calls on humanity to end 'war on nature' and go carbon-free

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