UN chief urges COP28 to break 'deadly cycle' of global warming

AFP , Monday 27 Nov 2023

The United Nations chief on Monday urged world leaders to take decisive action to tackle ever-worsening climate change when they gather at the COP28 summit in Dubai starting this week.

Antonio Guterres.
United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres. AP


"We are trapped in a deadly cycle," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. "The solutions are well known. Leaders must act to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, protect people from climate chaos, and end the fossil fuel age."

Guterres spoke ahead of the summit where 70,000 people are expected to attend the largest United Nations climate summit ever.

National negotiators at COP28 will grapple with flashpoint issues, including the future of fossil fuels, oil, gas and coal, and financial aid from rich polluters for the poorer nations most vulnerable to accelerating climate disruption.

But the summit's central focus will be a damning stock-taking of the world's limited progress towards curbing the pollutant greenhouse gas emissions fuelling the climate crisis.

"It is profoundly shocking to stand on the ice of Antarctica and hear directly from scientists how fast the ice is disappearing," Guterres said after visiting the region to prepare for the summit.

"The cause of all this destruction is clear: The fossil fuel pollution coating the Earth and heating the planet.

"Without changing course, we're heading towards a calamitous three-degree Celsius temperature rise by the end of the century," he warned.

"Leaders must not let the hopes of people around the world for a sustainable planet melt away. They must make COP28 count."

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