Activist countries

‘Time is up’: Countries trapped by climate crisis sound alarm at UN

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UNITED NATIONS, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Countries on the front lines of the climate crisis have had enough.

At the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations this week, the low-lying island nation Vanuatu stepped up its fight to focus the world on tackling global warming by calling for a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty.

“Time is up – action is needed now,” Vanuatu President Nikenike Vurobaravu told the UN General Assembly on Friday.

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The treaty would aim to cut coal, oil and gas production to limit rising temperatures to the globally agreed 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

It would also enable “a just global transition for every worker, community and nation dependent on fossil fuels,” the leader of the carbon-negative country said.

A United Nations climate science group – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – has warned that global emissions are on track to exceed the 1.5°C warming limit and reach around 3.2°C by the end of the century.

Vanuatu has also asked the International Court of Justice to issue an opinion on the right to be protected from the adverse effects of climate change, a decision which, according to Vurobaravu, “is not a silver bullet to increase action but only one tool to bring us closer to the end goal of a safe planet for humanity.”

In Pakistan, devastating floods this month engulfed large swaths of the country, killing more than 1,500 people and causing damage estimated at $30 billion. Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked world leaders why his people are paying the price for global warming.

“Pakistan has never seen such a stark and devastating example of the impact of global warming. Life in Pakistan has changed forever,” Sharif told the General Assembly. “Nature has unleashed its fury on Pakistan, without looking… at our carbon footprint.”

“CLIMATE CHANGE MONSTER”

Around the world on Friday, young activists rallied for climate action, staging protests from New Zealand and Japan to Germany and on the streets of New York to demand that rich countries pay for climate change. damage caused by global warming to the poor.

The protests come six weeks ahead of this year’s UN climate summit, known as COP27, where vulnerable countries plan to push for compensation for the destruction of homes, infrastructure and livelihoods. climate-related livelihood.

“We renew our call on the world to declare all-out war on the greatest challenge of this century: the monster of climate change. And yet, after all these years, the world has failed to break our addiction to fossil fuels,” said Marshall Islands President David Kabua. the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said those least responsible for climate change suffer the most.

“The Philippines is a net carbon sink, absorbing more carbon dioxide than we emit. And yet we are the fourth most vulnerable country to climate change,” he told the meeting. the UN.

UN chief Antonio Guterres warned on Friday that the world was “not even close” to making enough progress on climate change, telling a meeting of Pacific island leaders: “Those who did nothing to create this crisis are paying the highest price”.

Guterres also urged wealthy countries to tax the windfall profits of fossil fuel companies and use that money to help countries hit by the climate crisis and people struggling with rising food and energy prices. Read more

The United States and China are the biggest carbon emitters in the world. On the fight against global warming, US President Joe Biden warned this week at the United Nations: “We don’t have a lot of time”.

Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama condemned the climate war as being fought with “apathy, denial and a lack of courage to do what we all know needs to be done”.

He called on the world to mobilize.

“Fiji is ready to make the years ahead matter to our people and the planet. Our question is, are you with us? Don’t tell us yes unless you plan to show it. “

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Reporting by Michelle Nichols and Daphne Psaledakis at the United Nations and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Editing by Mary Milliken and Jonathan Oatis

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