United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has declared that as the climate change summit, COP27, gets underway in Egypt, the planet is sending ‘a distress signal. ‘
Guterres made the remarks in a message on the launch of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Provisional State of the Global Climate.
Released on Sunday, the report shows that the last eight years have been the warmest on record, fuelled by ever-rising greenhouse gas concentrations.
“The latest State of the Global Climate report is a chronicle of climate chaos,” the UN Secretary-General declared.
“As the World Meteorological Organization shows so clearly, change is happening with catastrophic speed – devastating lives and livelihoods on every continent,” Guterres asserted.
He noted that every heatwave had become more intense and life-threatening, especially for vulnerable populations because the last eight years have been the warmest on record.
The UN Chief observed that sea levels are rising at twice the speed of the 1990s – posing an existential threat to low-lying island states and threatening billions of people in coastal regions.
He also noted that glacier melt records are melting away, jeopardising water security for entire continents.
“People and communities everywhere must be protected from the immediate and ever-growing risks of the climate emergency. That is why we are pushing so hard for universal early warning systems within five years,” Guterres disclosed.
“We must answer the planet’s distress signal with action — ambitious, credible climate action. COP27 must be the place – and now must be the time,” the UN Secretary-General emphasised.