Climate change undeniable: UN chief after US’ withdrawal


United Nations:  UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres today asserted that climate change is “undeniable” as he strongly urged all governments across the world to “stay the course” and remain committed to implementing the ambitious deal.

“(Climate change) is undeniable. And it is one of the biggest threats to our present world and to the future of our planet. On the other hand, climate action is unstoppable,” Guterres told the media in St Petersburg, Russia, where he is participating in the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Guterres strongly urged all the governments around the world to “stay the course, to remain committed to the implementation of the Paris Agreement to the benefit of all of us”.

Responding to President Donald Trump’s announcement to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord, Guterres said he is “deeply convinced” that states, cities, the business community and civil society will remain engaged, “will bet on the green economy, because the green economy is the good economy, it is the economy of the future”.

“Because this is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do, and those that will be betting on the implementation of the Paris Agreement, on the green economy, will be the ones that have a leading role in the economy of the 21st century,” he said.

The US will now join only two other nations on the planet – Syria and Nicaragua – which are not part of the Paris climate agreement. Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the deal that aims to lower global green house gas emissions has been met with strong criticism from various quarters across the world.

The UN Environment Chief Erik Solheim joined other experts and analysts as saying that the US withdrawal will put India and China in leadership positions in the global fight to combat climate change.

The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise in this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The landmark agreement, which entered into force last November, calls on countries to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future, and to adapt to the increasing impacts of climate change.