UN chief calls for greater global efforts to tackle climate change
ISLAMABAD, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- The climate change is the gravest and most urgent obstacle to the global stability and prosperity, and greater joint efforts made by every country and every community in the world are necessary to deal with the crisis, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said here on Sunday.
Making a special talk on sustainable development and climate change, Guterres said the climate disruption presents a clear danger worldwide including the locust attack that Pakistan and other countries are suffering. "Global warming is leading to global swarming."
"The planet is burning, but too many decision-makers continue to fiddle," he said, adding that the global momentum for tackling the climate crisis has unfortunately stalled since the 2015 Paris Agreement.
"It is something I am convinced we can tackle if only we can generate the political will and the unity we need to make a difference," the UN chief said, adding that at the climate change conference to be held in Glasgow, governments must deliver the transformational change the world needs and people demand with much stronger ambition.
Besides environmental protection, Guterres also urged the world to step up action to achieve other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which cover the whole spectrum of human progress including healthcare, gender equality, poverty alleviation.
The SDGs are relevant to every nation and every community, and no country can say it has no inequality or problems related to pollution or climate change, he said.
"Today's challenges to sustainable development and human progress do not respect borders. They are not confined to individual nations."
The UN chief also lauded the measures Pakistan has taken in terms of healthcare, poverty alleviation and environmental protection, but said whether in Pakistan or elsewhere, the pace of change is not yet fast enough.
"In fact, by some estimates, we will only get halfway to our goals at the current pace," he said. Everyone can and must make a contribution to facilitate the process toward achieving the SDGs and collaborative actions across borders and sectors are required, he said.
"We are in the battle for our lives. Our sustainable future is at stake, but I firmly believe it is a battle that can be won," Guterres said.
The UN chief arrived in Pakistan early Sunday. During his visit in the country from Feb. 16-19, he will also attend an international conference on Afghan refugees and hold talks with Pakistani leaders.