UN chief Antonio Guterres urges immediate action on climate change


United Nations: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday that climate change is absolute priority, while urging the international community to take immediate action.

Speaking at a meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), an intergovernmental organization, which holds UN observer status, the UN chief said that with COP24 (the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) coming up in November, and the UN Climate Summit scheduled for September 2019, “the world needs to urgently step up action,” Xinhua reported.

The meeting, at UN headquarters in New York, comes shortly after the organization’s annual summit, in Nauru on September 3-6, which reaffirmed in an official communique known as the Boe Declaration, that “climate change remains the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific.”

“It will be the central concern to ensure countries enhance their ambitions over the next two years,” he said, noting that “for the moment, unfortunately we are going too slow regarding what we promised in Paris. And what we promised in Paris was not enough.”

Forum leaders welcomed the secretary-general’s leadership on climate change, calling for the appointment of a special adviser on climate change and security, to strengthen the global focus on climate change as a security risk.