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UN chief slams 'suicidal' failure to combat global warming
by Staff Writers
United Nations, United States (AFP) Dec 2, 2020

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday denounced a "suicidal" failure to combat global warming and said recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic could be humanity's chance for a reset to save the planet.

"The state of the planet is broken. Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal," the UN chief said in a speech at Columbia University in New York City.

"Next year we have the opportunity to stop plunder and begin healing," he added. "Covid recovery and our planet's repair must be two sides of the same coin."

Guterres called for a reduction in use of fossil fuels, and said a summit planned on December 12 for the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate change agreement should chart a new way forward.

"A new world is taking shape," he said.

"Biodiversity is collapsing. One million species are at risk of extinction. Ecosystems are disappearing before our eyes. Deserts are spreading. Wetlands are being lost. Every year, we lose 10 million hectares of forests.

"Oceans are overfished -- and choking with plastic waste. The carbon dioxide they absorb is acidifying the seas. Coral reefs are bleached and dying. Air and water pollution are killing nine million people annually."

As such "making peace with nature" must "be the top, top priority" of the 21st century, he warned, adding: "there is no vaccine for the planet."

Welcoming the first commitments towards carbon neutrality from China, the European Union, Japan and South Korea, he hoped that the movement would become global.

"Every country, city, financial institution and company should adopt plans for transitioning to net zero emissions by 2050," he concluded.

Related Links
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation

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EU ombudsman criticises BlackRock contract
Brussels (AFP) Nov 25, 2020
The EU's ombudsman on Wednesday reproached the European Commission for a contract with BlackRock, the world's biggest asset manager, to study sustainable finance regulations which raised conflict-of-interest questions. Emily O'Reilly, whose role is to be an ethics watchdog over the Commission, criticised current rules on attributing contracts, saying they were "not robust and clear enough to allow officials to find conflict of interest other than in a very narrow range of professional conflicts". ... read more

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