Don’t Fiddle While the Planet Burns, UN Chief Warns Climate Summit

The world must choose hope over surrender in the fight against climate change, U.N. secretary-general Antonio Guterres said on Monday, warning a summit in Madrid that governments risked sleepwalking past a point of no return.The latest round of annual negotiations to bolster the 2015 Paris Agreement to curb global warming began against a backdrop of unusually severe weather disasters this year, from fires in the Arctic, Amazon and Australia to intense tropical hurricanes.”Do we really want to be remembered as the generation that buried its head in the sand, that fiddled while the planet burned?” Guterres told the opening session of the two-week gathering, held in a hangar-like conference center in the Spanish capital.”One is the path of surrender, where we have sleepwalked past the point of no return,” he said. “The other option is the path of hope. A path of resolve, of sustainable solutions.”
UN’s Guterres Warns ‘Point of No Return’ Nearing as Climate Talks Open video player.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California arrives for a press conference at the COP25 climate talks summit in Madrid, Dec. 2, 2019.Nevertheless, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is leading impeachment proceedings against Trump in Washington, appeared at the talks on Monday with assurances that Congress was committed to ambitious climate action.”By coming here we want to say to everyone we are still in, the United States is still in,” Pelosi told reporters at the talks, flanked by Democratic Congressional representatives.Spain’s acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, whose government stepped in to host the summit after unrest erupted in Chile, the original venue, urged delegates to take ambitious action to preserve the “fragile balance” of life on Earth.”No one can independently pull out of this challenge,” Sanchez told delegates. “There is no wall high enough to protect any country from this challenge, however powerful they are.” 

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