UN chief Antonio Guterres said climate-related devastation was striking the planet on a weekly basis and recently warned that urgent action must be taken to avoid a catastrophe.
“We are here because the world is facing a grave climate emergency,” Guterres told a two-day Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting to prepare for a Climate Action Summit in New York in September.
“Climate disruption is happening now... It is progressing even faster than the world’s top scientists have predicted,” the UN secretary general said.
“It is outpacing our efforts to address it. Climate change is running faster than we are,” he said.
“Every week brings new climate-related devastation... floods, drought, heatwaves, wildfires and super storms,” Guterres said.
He warned the situation would only deteriorate unless “we act now with ambition and urgency”, but some of the world’s decision-makers still did not realise the dangers.
The UN chief held out hope in the Paris Agreement to cut harmful emissions and reduce global warming.