Climate crisis has ‘opened the gates to hell’: UN Chief

New York: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday told world leaders humanity’s addiction to fossil fuels had “opened the gates to hell” as he kicked off a climate meeting where leading polluters China and the United States were conspicuously absent.
Despite increasing extreme weather events and record-shattering global temperatures, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and oil and gas companies reap handsome profits.
Guterres has thus billed the “Climate Ambition Summit” as a “no nonsense” forum where leaders or cabinet ministers will announce specific actions that deliver on their commitments under the Paris Agreement. In his opening speech, he evoked 2023’s “horrendous heat” and “historic fires,” but stressed: “The future is not fixed: It is for leaders like you to write.
“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,” he said, referring to the target seen as needed to avoid long-term climate catastrophe. The bar for the podium was set high, with the UN chief making clear that only leaders who had made concrete plans to achieve net-zero greenhouse emissions would be allowed to speak. –Agencies