UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warns the world is ‘not on track’ to limiting world temperature rises to an acceptable level
In a stern warning, meant to give an impetus to actions meant to fight global warming, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has drawn attention that the world is ‘not on track’ to limiting world temperature rises to an acceptable level, as defined in the Paris Agreement. The agreement, concluded a few years back by 195 UN member countries, provides for holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius as against the level reported in the pre-industrial era. Mr. Guterres said that quote “The paradox is that as things are getting worse on the ground, political will seems to be fading” unquote, adding that the small island countries will be the most affected. The leaders of the states in the Pacific Islands have issued a common statement warning that climate change will lead to a global catastrophe. The statement warns that time is ticking away to the disadvantage of the Pacific region, and hundreds of small islands and their people are in danger.
The Pacific Islands’ leaders also warned that loss is already significant, and water level increases have been reported as well as extreme weather phenomena. Antonio Guterres has stated that saving the Pacific is vital in the attempt to save the entire world, in a context in which temperatures are rising, the rainfall patterns are altered, glaciers are melting at an alarming pace, and the average sea level is on the rise across the planet.
Another cause for global warming is the greenhouse gas emissions and the solution would practically be to try to reduce or prevent such emissions through various measures. Lavinia Andrei, the president of the Terra 3rd Millennium Foundation has been invited in Radio Romania’s studios and tried to explain the situation. She also referred to the proposals regarding the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions forwarded at the Sibiu summit by some of the EU countries, proposals initiated by the French president Emmanuel Macron:
Lavinia Andrei: “Any measure actually entails measures in economy, industry, radical measures in general. The proposal made by the 8 European states and initiated by president Macron, according to which by 2050 greenhouse gas emissions should be eliminated, first of all means, for Romania, for instance, to no longer use coal. Of course, this is not expected to happen tomorrow, but we need to start taking measures right now to have a transition period. We need to know what to do, what to use instead. What to do with the population in that respective area? What will they do?”
Furthermore, there is pressure coming from businesses, which should not be neglected. The measures related to agriculture and environment protection can be found in the ambitious proposals forwarded by the French president.
Radio Romania’s correspondent to Paris, Daniela Coman reports: “Reducing by half the use of chemical products for getting rid of pests and plant diseases, providing more European funds to those farmers who commit to having a cleaner, healthier production and to reducing the use of pesticides, who contribute to the natural soil rehabilitation, who produce organic food, who act for the safeguarding of bee populations – these are some of the initiatives which Emmanuel Macron wishes to promote at European level.”
25% of the EU budget should be allotted to projects meant to fight climate change, president Macron believes. Europe is the world’s 3rd biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions after China and the US, university professor Mircea Duţu recalled. He tried to explain the reticence shown at the Sibiu summit by some countries regarding the statement of the 8, by quoting a recent tendency of states to focus on national priorities:
Mircea Duţu: “At the Sibiu summit, as regards the attitude towards this document, a rift emerged at Europe level. It was not about the functioning of the France-Germany duet, which usually manages to impose certain decisions at EU level. In this particular situation, the French president had to find allies in other countries, because Germany, out of domestic policy reasons and given the difficulties it has in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, simply postpones the moment when it will join this initiative. But it does not reject it in principle.”
Germany and the East European countries believe that the 2050 deadline is too ambitions and could impinge on European competiveness. They would favor a postponement of the deadline by 2060. The environmental activists, on the other hand, want the European leaders to assume a more ambitious timetable, arguing that the recent protests related to climate change show that the EU citizens are quick to react. (translation by L. Simion)