Scientists are warning there is a “decent chance” that July could be the hottest month in 120,000 years and the UN chief has said in a chilling statement the world is now in an era of “global boiling.”
The head of the United Nations gave grim speech and said that this month’s extreme heat globally will “shatter records across the board” and told world leaders “no more excuses” start to lead on climate action.
Antonio Guterres said speaking in New York for Norther America, China and Europe it has been a “cruel summer,” which “for the entire planet, it is a disaster.”
The UN chief said, “For scientists it is unequivocal. Humans are to blame. All this is entirely consistent with predictions and repeated warnings.”
He continued, “The only surprise is the speed of the change.
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“Climate change is here. It is terrifying. And it is just the beginning.
“The era of global warming has ended. The era of global boiling has arrived.”
Guterres added, “The air is unbreathable. The heat is unbearable. And the level of fossil fuel profits and climate inaction is unacceptable.”
In a direct message to world leaders he said, “No more hesitancy.
“No more excuses. No more waiting for others to move first. There is simply no more time for that.
“It is still possible to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and avoid the very worst of climate change – but only with dramatic immediate climate action.”
Guterres called on G20 to hit “fast forward, so that developed countries can commit to reach zero emissions as close as possible to 2040, and the emerging economies as close as possible to 2050, with support from developed countries to do so.”
He added, “Ambitious renewable energy goals must be in line with 1.5 degree limits.
“We must reach net zero electricity by 2035 in developed countries and 2040 elsewhere, as we work to bring affordable electricity to everyone on Earth.
“We also need action from leaders beyond governments.”
According to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the EU’s Copernicus programme the first three weeks of July are the hottest “by a significant margin.”
WMO secretary-general Professor Petteri Taalas warned, “The extreme weather which has affected many millions of people in July is unfortunately the harsh reality of climate change and a foretaste of the future.
“The need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is more urgent than ever before. Climate action is not a luxury but a must.”
Dr Friederike Otto, a climate scientist from Imperial College London said that it is possible thousands of people may have died due to the extreme heat in July.
Catherine Abreu, executive director of Destination Zero said, “We need these governments to be coming in, regulating these sectors, regulating a managed decline of the fossil fuel industry, and we also need governments to be pushing past the limits that the lies of the fossil fuel industry have put on their imaginations.”