"No nation is immune."
Now or Never
It's been a troubling summer for the planet. Global heatwaves — likely a result of human-generated climate change, at least in part — have caused several wildfires and deepened drought conditions in some areas, while extreme summer storms threaten destructive flooding in others.
The urgency of the situation has not been lost on UN Secretary General António Guterres. In a video message to ministers from 40 different nations on Monday, the UN leader made his position on the ongoing climate crisis clear: nations have to take action immediately, or else.
"We have a choice," Guterres told the many state officials. "Collective action or collective suicide. It is in our hands."
According to The Guardian, the UN chief's remarks come during the Petersburg Climate Dialogues, a conference in Berlin focused this year on severe weather, fossil fuel and food prices, and the not-so-distant consequences of climate change — consequences that, as Guterres continued, every nation on Earth is or will be subject to.
"Half of humanity is in the danger zone, from floods, droughts, extreme storms and wildfires," said Guterres. "No nation is immune. Yet we continue to feed our fossil fuel addiction."
But while the leader made it clear that everyone is at risk, he was careful to emphasize that underdeveloped countries — which are far less culpable for the onset of the climate crisis than their developed counterparts — will likely be hit the hardest in the short term.
"People in Africa, South Asia and Central and South America are 15 times more likely to die from extreme weather events," Guterres added in the video. "This great injustice cannot persist."
The Berlin meeting is one of the last chances for key nations to hash out some final accordances before the UN's Cop27 climate summit, slated for Egypt this November. Hopefully, the UN head's statements landed — but at the end of the day, it's up to individual countries, especially those most responsible, to actually make some changes.
READ MORE: Humanity faces ‘collective suicide’ over climate crisis, warns UN chief [The Guardian]
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