The head of the United Nations warned Wednesday that the “gates of hell” are at hand as climate change intensifies, and top international officials said the world’s leaders still aren’t doing nearly enough to curb pollution of heat-trapping gases. They pleaded with major emitting nations to do more. Those nations remained silent. They weren’t allowed to speak because, organizers said, they had no new actions to take. Guterres convened the summit with the idea that only world leaders who came with new concrete actions would get to address their peers on the issue. Heads of state from China, the United States, India, Russia, the United Kingdom and France all skipped the summit. Experts and United Nations reports say the world needs to reduce emissions by 43% in the next seven years to reach the goal set by the 2015 Paris agreement. “We are not yet there,” Guterres said. But there are cities, regions and companies that are leading the way. “If these first movers and first doers can do it, everybody can do it.”
By Seth Borenstein. Associated Press. September 20, 2023.
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