United Nations Secretary–General António Guterres on a just ended visit to the hurricane ravaged Bahamas, voiced support for the conversion of debt into investment in resilience.
“In cases like the Bahamas, I strongly support proposals to convert debt into investment in resilience,” he stated.
According to Guterres, concessional financing must be made available to indebted middle-income countries that are vulnerable to extreme weather events.
“This is something which we have been working hard to make the international community fully support,” the top UN official explained.
“But most importantly, the entire international community must address the climate crisis through raising ambition and action to implement the Paris Agreement,” he declared.
“The best available science, as reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says we must ensure collectively that global temperature rise does not go beyond 1.5 degrees,” Guterres disclosed.
“It says we have a window of less than 11 years to avoid irreversible climate disruption. And that we must reduce emissions by 45 percent by 2030, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. That is why I am asking all leaders to come to the Climate Summit with plans, not speeches in New York in one week’s time.”
“Solutions exist, but for them to be achieved, we must shift taxes from people’s incomes to carbon, stop subsidizing fossil fuels; and stop building new coal plants by 2020 across the world,” the UN Secretary-General noted.
He thanked the Bahamas and all the countries of the Caribbean for their strong moral and political leadership.
Guterres urged them to continue to raise their voices in New York next month.
“The United Nations stands with the Bahamas and the Caribbean.You can count on our solidarity and support as you build a better future with confidence and hope,” he promised.