United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has underscored the need for urgency in addressing what he described as ‘the orgy of destruction’ of the planet.
“We are treating nature like a toilet. And ultimately, we are committing suicide by proxy,” Guterres warned at Tuesday’s opening of a UN diversity conference in Montreal, Canada.
He told the event that losing nature and biodiversity comes with a steep human cost.
“Our addiction to fossil fuels has thrown our climate into chaos — from heatwaves and forest fires to communities parched by heat and drought or inundated and destroyed by terrifying floods,” the UN Chief lamented.
“Unsustainable production and consumption are sending emissions skyrocketing and degrading our land, sea, and air. Today, one-third of all land is degraded, making it harder to feed growing populations,” Guterres observed.
“Multinational corporations are filling their bank accounts while emptying our world of its natural gifts,” he stated.
“Ecosystems have become playthings of profit. With our bottomless appetite for unchecked and unequal economic growth, humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction,” Guterres declared.
He told the Conference it was time to forge a pact with nature, stating that the gathering was a chance to stop the destruction and move from discord to harmony.
“No excuses. No delays. Promises made must be promises kept,” Guterres asserted.