United Nations: UN chief Antonio Guteress cited the recent devastating floods in Kerala and last year's hurricane in Puerto Rico as he issued a grave warning about consequences of inaction over climate change and called for more leadership and greater ambition for climate action.
"Climate change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. We face a direct existential threat. The UN Secretary General referred to the Kerala floods, among other natural disasters across the world, to highlight the urgency of the climate crisis and the need to step up efforts to reverse course on climate change.
"Extreme heatwaves, wildfires, storms and floods are leaving a trail of death and devastation. Last month the state of Kerala in India suffered its worst monsoon flooding in recent history, killing 400 people and driving one million more from their homes," he said. Guteress referred to hurricane Maria that killed almost 3,000 people in Puerto Rico last year, making it one of the deadliest extreme weather disasters in the United States history.
"Let there be no doubt about the urgency of the crisis. We are experiencing record breaking temperatures around the world," he said, adding that according to the World Meteorological Organisation, the past two decades included 18 of the warmest years since 1850, when records began. This year is shaping up to be the fourth hottest, he said. PTI