António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary General, has warned of impending climate catastrophe and end-of-days warfare over resources for over 900 million people worldwide. Amid multiple worldwide humanitarian crises, including Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic, this is not the first time Guterres has fought to keep climate change at the forefront of global leaders’ minds.
The populations of low-lying coastal areas around the globe could soon be on the move on a “biblical scale” according to a speech U.N. Secretary General gave to the Security Council in New York, on Tuesday.
The world community already has over 100 million people displaced by the Earth’s changing climate, war, and food insecurity, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency. Guterres is predicting nine times that amount.
The danger of sea-level rise is ever-present for the one in ten people on Earth who live in low-lying coastal regions.— Environmental Justice Foundation (@ejfoundation) February 16, 2023
The #ClimateCrisis is a death sentence for countries without the resources to adapt to these changes.https://t.co/hLvU6ouYve
Warning that huge deltas across Asia would become uninhabitable, Guterres highlighted that “Bangladesh, China, India, and the Netherlands are all at risk”. Competition over resources and territory would be experienced everywhere from Bangkok to Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Dharka, Jakarta, and Lagos, to London and Los Angeles, Maputo, Mumbai, New York, Santiago and Shanghai. Jakarta has already taken steps to move its capital city.
António Guterres, UN Secretary General
Our world is hurtling past the 1.5C warming limit that a liveable future requires, and with present policies, is careening towards 2.8C. A temperature change of that level would be a “death sentence for vulnerable countries.
An October report released by the U.N predicted that in just 77 years time, the world would have overtaken the 2015 Paris Climate Accord limit of 1.5 degrees, by nearly a whole degree. With oceans warming at a faster rate than at any point for 11,000 years, the Artic has lost around 2.25 million square km of ice since 1979, World Meterological Organization data shows. Since the year 1900, sea levels have also risen faster, on average, than during any century for 3,000 years.
There are record lows of floating ice around Antarctica and time is running out to prevent far-reaching damage to the East Antarctica Ice Sheet. If the sheet, which is the size of the USA, disintegrates, it could cause sea level rises of up to over 5 metres, without relentless focus on meeting greenhouse gas emissions targets.
UN says rising sea level is a “death sentence” to some coastal cities including NY, Bangkok,Shanghai, London, LA, Buenos Aires, Lagos, Jakarta,& Mumbai. Instead of drilling we need to switch immediately and use green energy. We don’t have much time left.— Make America Kind Again (@FightRacism1) February 15, 2023
“Around the world, a hotter planet is melting glaciers and ice sheets,” Guterres said. “The consequences of all of this are unthinkable. Low-lying communities and entire countries could disappear forever.”