3 October 2019 | Reading 5 mins.

A climate change: An unstoppable movement takes hold

António Guterres
Secretary-General of the United Nations.

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

On the eve of the September UN Climate Action Summit, young women and men around the world mobilized by the millions and told global leaders: “You are failing us”.

They are right.

Global emissions are increasing. Temperatures are rising. The consequences for oceans, forests, weather patterns, biodiversity, food production, water, jobs and, ultimately, lives, are already dire — and set to get much worse.

The science is undeniable. But in many places, people don’t need a chart or graph to understand the climate crisis. They can simply look out the window.

Climate chaos is playing out in real time from California to the Caribbean, and from Africa to the Arctic and beyond. Those who contributed least to the problem are suffering the most.

I have seen it with my own eyes from cyclone-battered Mozambique to the hurricane-devastated Bahamas to the rising seas of the South Pacific.

I called the Climate Action Summit to serve as a springboard to set us on the right path ahead of crucial 2020 deadlines established by the Paris Agreement on climate change.  And many leaders — from many countries and sectors — stepped up.

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