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UN chief warns world on ‘one-way ticket to disaster’ over climate

Published : Saturday, 23 October, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 371

PARIS, Oct 22: UN chief Antonio Guterres said Thursday that the current climate situation was "a one-way ticket for disaster" and stresed the need to "avoid a failure" at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.
The 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, struck at the COP21 summit, called for capping global warming at well below 2C above the pre-industrial level, and ideally closer to 1.5C.  But current UN estimates indicate a "catastrophic" warming of 2.7C is on the cards.
Guterres said the present indications "show a pathway of at least 2,7C heating above pre industrial levels, and that's obviously a one way ticket for disaster."
"The carbon pollution of a handful of countries has brought humanity to its knees and they bear the greatest responsability," he told an online press conference with members of the Covering Climate Now international project.
"I hope we are still on time to avoid a failure in Glasgow, but time is running short, and things are getting more difficult and that is why I'm very very worried. I'm afraid things might get wrong," he said. "The G20 leaders will meet
in Rome and they know their economies are responsible for four-fifth of planet carbon pollution," Guterres said.
"If they do not stand up ... we are headed for terrible human sufferings," he added. He said: "China and the United States must do more than what they have announced so far."  Held between October 31 and November 12, the Glasgow gathering is seen as a crucial step in setting worldwide emission targets to slow global warming.
Earlier this month, COP26 President Alok Sharma, said the G20 meeting would be "make or break" for success in Glasgow. "The G20 leaders will meet in Rome and they know their economies are responsible for four-fifths of planet carbon pollution," Guterres said.
"If they do not stand up we are headed for terrible human sufferings," he added. He said: "China and the United States must do more than what they have announced so far."
Guterres made an appeal Thursday for reversing a decline in women's rights in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world. "We need to fight back -- and turn the clock forward -- for every woman and girl," Guterres told the Security Council. "Women will no longer accept reversals of their rights. They shouldn't have to -- in countries in conflict, or anywhere else," he added.
In Myanmar, Ethiopia, Yemen and other parts of the world the rights of women are being violated or eliminated altogether, Guterres said.  "In Mali, after two coups in nine months, the space for women's rights is not just shrinking, but closing," he said.
"In Afghanistan, girls and women are seeing a rapid reversal of the rights they achieved in recent decades, including their right to a seat in the classroom," Guterres said.  Since the hardline Islamist Taliban movement seized power in late August, it has excluded girls from returning to secondary school while ordering boys back to class.
"In Afghanistan, the UN is staying and delivering, and will continue to promote and defend the rights of women and girls in all our engagements with the Taliban de facto authorities," the UN chief said. "We will not stop until girls can go back to school, and women can return to their jobs and participate in public life."
Fawzia Koofi, a former Afghan negotiator and member of the Afghan parliament, voiced regret that the Taliban's government didn't include women. "It's not just a political and social issue but its a matter of security," said Koofi, who was in New York heading a delegation of four Afghan women, during a meeting with journalists at the United Nations.
"If there is a reliable government in Afghanistan that will accommodate diversity and inclusion of everyone, including women" it "can be a trusted partner to the world -- but the reality is that this is not" the case, she said.    -AFP



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