Guterres’ Stark Warning from Everest: End Fossil Fuels or Face Climate Catastrophe

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Solukhumbu: In his address from the Everest region during a visit to Nepal, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on the world to end the use of fossil fuels warning of climate catastrophe if this is not done.

The UN Chief standing against the backdrop of mountain ranges at an elevation of about 35,000 feet from the sea level warned of an unfolding crisis.

“I am in Nepal to send a message to the world: The rooftops of the world are caving in. This tragedy is unfolding in two perilous chapters. Phase one is the story of melting glaciers and ice sheets. Record temperatures mean record glacier melt. Nepal has lost close to one-third of its ice in just over 30 years. Antarctica and Greenland are losing billions of tons of ice mass every year. Melting glaciers mean swollen lakes and rivers flooding, sweeping away entire communities; And seas rising at record rates threatening coastal communities across the globe. The crisis is gaining speed,” the UN Chief said.

Guterres warned that glaciers that lie in high regions of Nepal the Everest and other regions of Nepal have melted sixty-five per cent faster in the last decade than in the previous one.

Stating the disappearance of glaciers, the icy reservoirs altogether supplying water to over a billion people across the world, Guterres warned that the rivers in the coming year also have a reduced flow of water.

“In the future, major Himalayan rivers like the Indus, the Ganges and Brahmaputra could have massively reduced flows. Combined with saltwater intrusion, that would decimate deltas. That spells catastrophe: Low-lying countries and communities erased forever,” the visiting UNSG warned.

The massive disappearing of the glaciers also has resulted in increased disasters such as floods, drought and landslides all across the globe. Calling on for climate action, Guterres stressed on end of the fossil fuel age.

“I am here today to cry out from the rooftop of the world: stop the madness. The glaciers are retreating, but we cannot. We must end the fossil fuel age. We must act now to protect people on the frontline; and to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, to avert the worst of climate chaos. The world can’t wait.”

The UN Secretary-General on a visit to Nepal at the invitation of the Nepali Prime Minister on Monday visited the Everest Region on the Nepal Army helicopter. Guterres made a stop over at Khumbu Pasang Lhyamu rural municipality-4 in Solukhumbu as part of his four-day official trip to Nepal.

At the time of the stopover, the Secretary-General also held interaction with the local communities to discuss the challenges posed by climate change and its impacts on their daily lives. During the interaction, Guterres vowed to inform the world about the consequences of climate change in mountain regions, incorporating the input of the local residents in the upcoming COP-28, the UN Climate Change Conference.

During the interaction, local residents informed him about various climate change- related issues, including the melting of snow, climate change-induced hazards, the depletion of water resources, the impact on local agriculture, and occurrences of avalanches.

Source: Energy World