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Climate Change

Enough Of ‘Treating Nature Like A Toilet’ – UN Chief António Guterres At COP26

UN chief António Guterres at the COP26 says, “We are digging our own graves.”

Enough Of ‘Treating Nature Like A Toilet’ – UN Chief António Guterres At COP26
UN chief António Guterres sent a blunt message to the world at COP26
  • 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference is being held in the UK
  • Our addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink: UN Chief
  • Since the Paris Agreement, we had the six hottest years on record: UN Chief

New Delhi: As the World’s Leader Summit opened on day two of COP26, UN chief António Guterres sent a stark message to the world. He took the podium with a blunt message, he said, “our addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink. We are digging our own graves.” Mr Guterres also highlighted that the six years since the Paris Climate Agreement have been the six hottest years on record.

“Either we stop it or it stops us,” he added, delivering five key messages to world leaders.

Also Read: PM Modi At G20 Session: India Is Not Only Rapidly Achieving The Paris Agreement Goals But Also Busy Setting Higher Targets

1. It’s Time To Say Enough

UN Chief António Guterres said, “Enough of brutalizing biodiversity, killing ourselves with carbon, treating nature like a toilet, burning, and drilling and mining our way deeper. We are digging our own graves.”

He added that our planet is changing before our eyes – from melting glaciers, to relentless extreme weather events. He highlighted that sea-level rise is double the rate it was 30 years ago, that oceans are hotter than ever, and that parts of the Amazon Rainforest now emit more carbon than they absorb.

“Recent climate action announcements might give the impression that we are on track to turn things around. This is an illusion”, he stated, referring to the latest report on national plans to reduce emissions, known as Nationally determined contributions (NDCs), which indicates that even when fully met, the result would still condemn our world to a “calamitous” 2.7- degree increase. He added,

And even if the recent pledges were clear and credible – and there are serious questions about some of them – we are still careening towards climate catastrophe. So, as we open this much anticipated climate conference, we are still heading for climate disaster

Also Read: Here’s Why We Need To Act Now To Tackle Climate Change

2. Keeping The 1.5 Degrees Goal In Focus

The UN chief also called for greater ambition on mitigation and immediate concrete action to reduce global emissions by 45 per cent by 2030. He said,

G20 countries have a particular responsibility as they represent around 80 per cent of emissions. We need maximum ambition – from all countries on all fronts – to make Glasgow a success.

3. We Must Protect Vulnerable Communities

The UN Chief said that over the last decade, nearly four billion people suffered climate-related disasters. He added that the devastation will only grow. Mr. Guterres highlighted that adaptation measures work, and that early warning systems as well as climate-smart agriculture and infrastructure, save lives and jobs. He added,

All donors must allocate half their climate finance to adaptation. Public and multilateral development banks should start as soon as possible.

Also Read: Explainer: What Is COP26 And Why Is It So Important For Tackling Climate Change Crisis?

4. COP Must Be A Moment Of Solidarity

Reiterating his call for a $100 billion per year climate finance commitment in support of developing countries, to become a reality, the UN chief said,

Those suffering the most – namely, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) – need urgent funding. More public climate finance. More overseas development aid. More grants. Easier access to funding.

5. Build On Progress

Mr. Guterres warned that we are fast approaching tipping points that will trigger escalating feedback loops of global heating, but investing in the net zero, climate-resilient economy, will create feedback loops of its own — virtuous circles of sustainable growth, jobs and opportunity. He concluded by saying,

On behalf of this and future generations, I urge you: Choose ambition. Choose solidarity. Choose to safeguard our future and save humanity.

Also Read: How Climate Change Is Impacting Global Hunger? An Expert From United Nations World Food Programme Explains

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity,  that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India. 

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