UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

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  • 11 Mar 2020
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'We Will Not Fight Climate Change With a Virus': UN Chief Warns Both Climate and Coronavirus Emergencies 'must Be Defeated'

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that while the global outbreak of coronavirus may have caused a temporary drop in emissions that cause global warming, it would not end the problem and might even divert attention from the fight. "We should not overestimate the fact that emissions have been reduced for some months. We will not fight climate change with the virus," he said. "It is important that all the attention that needs to be given to fight this disease does not distract us from the need to defeat climate change," he said. Guterres was speaking after the publication of a UN report on planetary warming last year, and said the situation demanded urgent action. "Global heating is accelerating," he said as the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a UN institution, presented its update. The WMO report confirmed findings in December that 2019 was the second hottest year on record, "with the past decade the hottest in human history", Guterres said. "We have no time to lose if we are to avert climate catastrophe," Guterres emphasized. "Let us have no illusions. Climate change is already causing calamity, and more is to come.

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