Sharm El-Sheikh Egypt, – United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres told countries gathered at the start of the COP27 summit in Egypt on Monday they face a stark choice: work together now to cut emissions or condemn future generations to climate catastrophe.
The speech set an urgent tone as governments sit down for two weeks of talks on how to avert the worst of climate change.
“Humanity has a choice: cooperate or perish,” Guterres told delegates gathered in the seaside resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.
He called for a pact between the world’s richest and poorest countries to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels and funding to ensure poorer countries can reduce emissions and cope with the climate impacts that have already occurred.
“The two largest economies – the United States and China – have a particular responsibility to join efforts to make this pact a reality,” he said.
“Greenhouse gas emissions keep growing. Global temperatures keep rising. And our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible,” he said. “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator.”