The World Daily
UN Chief gives warning: world on the edge of climate “abyss”

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres (pictured) warned: 'We are on the verge of the abyss'. Photo:EPA


By Patryk Krych | The World Daily | APRIL 20th 2021


The United Nations had issued a warning to the world: 2020 was one of the hottest years on record, with infamous forest fires and droughts instigated by the worsening climate crisis. It’s becoming clearer now that the world is running out of time to sort out the climate crisis.

The latest report from the UN has confirmed that 2020 made it as one of the top 3 hottest years ever to be put on record. This revelation, along with the recollection of the past year’s series of wildfires and melting glaciers is what prompted the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to state that the world is “on the verge of the abyss.”

“We are seeing record levels in tropical storms, in the melting of ice sheets or glaciers, in relation to drought, heat waves and wildfires,” Guterres told Reuters.

According to the report, the global average temperature across the year of 2020 was rounded to about 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This may not seem like much, but in terms of global temperature increase, so much as a degree can be the difference between drought and stability.

Thus, the year of 2020, alongside the years of 2016 and 2019, is ranked among the hottest years to ever be put on record. The UN had stressed, as a result, that 2021 will need to be the year where we begin moving forward and providing better protections for people against climate change.

“This is truly a pivotal year for humanity’s future. And this report shows we have no time to waste, climate disruption is here,” Guterres added, urging countries all around the world to “end our war on nature.”

“This is the year for action. Countries need to commit to net zero emissions by 2050,” said the UN chief, in response to the report. “They need to act now to protect people against the disastrous effects of climate change.”

The highest temperature recorded North of the Arctic Circle was in Russia, Verkhoyansk at 38 Celsius on June 20. This is an unusually high temperature for a place so far North, and is thought to be indicative of changing times. The effects of climate change can also be observed through the migration patterns of polar bears, who have begun to migrate South as their icy homelands are disappearing bit by bit, moving to Alaska, Norway, and certain places in Russia.

“This year is pivotal,” said Guterres. “At the United Nations climate conference, COP26, in November, we need to demonstrate that we are taking and planning bold action on mitigation and adaptation.”

“The report shows that we have not time to waste. The climate is changing, and the impacts are already too costly for people and the planet. This is the year for action,” said Petteri Taalas, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-Secretary.


He urged countries to begin honouring their commitments to the net-zero goals of 2050, as this is the best chance we have at avoiding any grander disasters. The UN had warned during the formation of the Paris Climate Accords that failure to curb climate change may results in the development of extreme weather conditions that may lead to greater property damages to and losses of life – particularly in developing countries.

Such conditions include rising sea levels -which would be disastrous to coastal communities- increased droughts, landslides, flash floods, famines, and much more. Such conditions are particularly harmful when in the midst of a pandemic crisis.

He added: “One of the most powerful ways to adapt is to invest in early warning services and weather observing networks. Several less developed countries have major gaps in their observing systems and are lacking state-of-the-art weather, climate and water services.”


By Patryk Krych | © The World Daily 2021