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Halt burning fossil fuels to save planet from burning: UN Chief

DUBAI: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered a stark message to global leaders, emphasizing that halting the burning of fossil fuels is imperative to save our planet.

He stressed that merely reducing or lessening their use would not suffice to combat the escalating threat of global warming.

“The planet ablaze cannot be extinguished by fueling it further with fossil fuels,” Guterres emphatically stated.

The 28th UNFCCC Conference of Parties convened in Dubai’s Expo City, drawing a vast assembly of 52,000 party delegates and 90,000 non-party delegates. A significant stride was made at the summit’s outset as delegates unanimously adopted the “loss and damage fund,” aimed at aiding vulnerable nations grappling with climate-induced catastrophes.

During the summit’s opening ceremony, the UN chief underscored a crucial point: achieving the 1.5-degree limit necessitates a complete cessation of fossil fuel burning, not just a reduction or moderation.

Guterres urged fossil fuel industries to pivot toward renewable energy investments. Simultaneously, he urged governments to catalyze this shift by mandating changes, including implementing windfall taxes on industry profits.

“I implore governments to guide industries toward sustainable choices by enforcing regulations, enacting legislation, pricing carbon fairly, discontinuing subsidies for fossil fuels, and adopting windfall taxes on profits,” Guterres urged.

In his address to world leaders, Guterres emphasized the long-overdue need for climate justice. He highlighted the plight of developing nations disproportionately affected by disasters they did not trigger. Guterres lamented the exorbitant borrowing costs hindering their climate initiatives, citing the insufficient and delayed support provided to these nations.

The UN Secretary-General stressed that the climate challenge is not merely another item on the agenda but represents the paramount test of global leadership, emphasizing that safeguarding the climate stands as humanity’s greatest trial.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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