UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on Monday at the opening ceremony of the summit of heads of state at the COP27 climate conference in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, urged humanity to “work together or perish”.
Humanity must choose between “solidarity” or “collective suicide,” Guterres said.
The UN Secretary-General finds it “unacceptable and outrageous” that other crises, such as the war in Ukraine, have pushed the fight against climate change “to the background”. “The current crises should not be an excuse to take a step back”. Especially since many conflicts are “related to climate change”.
“We are on the highway towards climate hell, with our foot still on the accelerator,” added the UN Secretary-General. As a result, Guterres said, “we are in the process of losing the battle of our lives.”
The UN Secretary-General also supported the demand from developing countries for compensation for climate-related damage – so-called ‘loss and damage’. That theme will be officially on the agenda for the first time at COP27.
Just before, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi had opened the summit with a speech. “Expectations are high for good results,” it sounded. “Millions of people from all over the world are watching us.”
The consequences of climate change are increasingly being felt, al-Sisi said. “We’ve been through one catastrophe after another. Once we overcome one disaster, another emerges – wave after wave.” As a result, the earth has turned into a “world of suffering,” the Egyptian president concluded.