Free yourself from pollution, climate chaos and ‘decimation of biodiversity’, UN chief urges – Global Issues


In a post marking Wednesday World Environment DayAntónio Guterres emphasizes this countries “must deliver” on all their commitments to restore degraded ecosystems and degraded land, and so on Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Frameworkthe global agreement to protect biodiversity.

“They must use their new national climate action plans to explain how they will stop and reverse deforestation by 2030. And we need to dramatically scale up financing to support developing countries to adapt to severe weather, protect nature and support sustainable development.”

The UN chief further emphasized that quick and effective action makes economic sense.

“Every dollar invested in ecosystem restoration delivers up to $30 in economic benefits,” he said.

‘It’s time to break free’

The failure to curb runaway pollution, climate chaos and the destruction of biodiversity is plain for all to see. Healthy, fertile soils are turning into deserts, thriving ecosystems are turning into dead zones, and carbon dioxide emissions are rising.

“That means harvests fail, water sources disappear, economies are weakened and communities are put at risk – with the poorest hit hardest… It’s time to break free,” the UN chief said.

“We are Generation Recovery. Let’s build a sustainable future for the country and for humanity together,” he added.

Celebrated by millions of people around the world, World Environment Day has been held annually since 1973 and has become the largest ever global platform for environmental activities.

This year it is commemorated under the umbrella theme of ‘land restoration, desertification and drought resilience’.

Address the ‘triple planetary crisis’

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Program (UNEP), everyone shouted to join the global movement to put these words into action.

By restoring ecosystems we can slow the triple planetary crisis: the crisis of climate change, the crisis of nature and biodiversity loss, including desertification, and the crisis of pollution and waste.”

Furthermore, by doing this the world can move closer to limiting global temperature rise, in line with the 2015 standard Paris Agreement by increasing carbon storage and reducing poverty and hunger, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), she added.

Land restoration can be a golden thread that connects these, bringing together action and ambition in all three important meetings.”

Commemorative events

At the start of the commemorations in Asia and the Pacific, the UN Regional Development Department (ESCAPE) next to UNEP will bring together key stakeholders to identify priority actions.

Broad solutions under discussion include circular use of water resources, sustainable food production and resilient urban development.

Saudi Arabia will host the 2024 global commemoration. The country will also host in December the sixteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP16), the global framework that addresses land degradation and tackles desertification.

Listen below to an exclusive interview with Makiko Yashiro, UNEP Coordinator for Nature Action in Asia and the Pacific, about the 2024 campaign

Special speech from the UN chief

In New York City, Secretary General António Guterres will give a special talk on climate change at the American Museum of Natural History on Wednesday morning local time, where he will lay out some hard truths about the state of the climate.

He will also share new data from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service. He will be accompanied by his Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, Michael Bloomberg, and Sean Decatur, president of the museum.

The event starts on Wednesday, June 5 at 10 a.m. (New York time). UN News will be on the ground to bring you the latest news. We start live reporting about an hour before the start of the event.

Follow up on the special event @UN_News_Centre on X, formerly Twitter, and on this page.

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