UN chief on climate crisis: ‘Humanity has opened the gates of hell’

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sounded a warning on the climate crisis Wednesday when he said: “Humanity has opened the gates of hell.”

“Horrendous heat is having horrendous effects, distraught farmers watching crops carried away by floods, sweltering temperatures spawning disease, and thousands fleeing in fear as historic fires rage,” Guterres said at the Climate Ambition Summit at UN headquarters in New York.

The summit aims to expedite global climate action by governments, businesses, finance, local authorities and civil society, demonstrating a shared commitment to shift toward a renewable-energy-driven, climate-resilient economy.

Guterres said climate action is dwarfed by the scale of the challenge and he warned that without significant changes, the world is on track for a 2.8-degree temperature rise, which he described as a path “towards a perilous and unstable world.”

“But the future is not fixed,” he said. “We can still limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees. We can still build a world of clear air, green jobs, and affordable clean power for all.”

The UN chief encouraged global leaders to take urgent action to reduce emissions.

“The move from fossil fuels to renewables is happening — but we are decades behind,” he added.

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