Johnson warns of ecological doomsday

02 Nov, 2021 - 00:11 0 Views
Johnson warns of ecological doomsday President Mnangagwa is welcomed by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland yesterday

The Herald

GLASGOW. – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson opened the COP26 UN climate conference in Glasgow on a sombre note on yesterday by warning that the world is facing an ecological “doomsday” while UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said bluntly: “We are digging our own graves.”

US President Joe Biden opted for a more hopeful tone, saying there is an “incredible opportunity” behind the “growing catastrophe” of global warming and urging world leaders to meet its challenge.

Biden pushed back against criticism that transforming economies to reduce greenhouse gases and reliance on fossil fuels will hurt jobs, arguing “it’s about jobs”.

Electrifying transport, building solar panel and wind turbine networks “create good, paying union jobs for American workers”, whereas continuing down the same path is already causing economic damage, he said.

“We’re standing at an inflection point in world history,” Biden said, describing the proliferation of wildfires, droughts and other climate-related disasters.

French President Emmanuel Macron took to the stage after Biden spoke and called for a unified effort to curb climate change based on three values: ambition, solidarity and trust.

He urged the world’s “largest emitters” to boost their plans to slash carbon pollution during the crunch two-week summit.

“The key over the next 15 days at this COP, is that the largest emitters whose national strategies do not align with our objective of 1,5 degrees Celsius of warming, to raise their ambition … that’s the only way of making our strategy credible again,” Macron told world leaders in Glasgow.

Macron and Biden were preceded by Britain’s Johnson, who opened the summit saying the world is strapped to a “doomsday device”.

Johnson likened an ever-warming Earth’s position to that of fictional secret agent James Bond – strapped to a bomb that will destroy the planet and trying to work out how to defuse it.

He told leaders that “we are in roughly the same position” – only now the “ticking doomsday device” is not fiction. The threat is climate change, triggered by the burning of coal, oil and natural gas, which Johnson pointed out started in Glasgow with James Watt’s coal-powered steam engine.

Johnson told the summit that humanity had run down the clock when it comes to climate change, and the time for action is now. He pointed out that the more than 130 world leaders who gathered in Glasgow had an average age of over 60, while the generations most harmed by climate change aren’t yet born.

Johnson called for the end of coal-fired power plants and gasoline-powered cars along with a huge transfer of cash from rich nations to poor to help them switch to greener economies and adapt to worsening climate impacts.

And that mood got only darker when United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres followed him.

“We are digging our own graves,” Guterres said. “Our planet is changing before our eyes – from the ocean depths to mountaintops, from melting glaciers to relentless extreme weather events.”

Britain’s Prince Charles told the world leaders they need to “save our precious planet” and that “the eyes and hopes of the world are upon you”. – AP/AFP

Share This:

Sponsored Links