United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered a compelling address at the opening ceremony of the World Climate Action Summit COP28 held in Dubai, urging urgent action and cooperation from world leaders to tackle the escalating climate emergency. Acknowledging the warm reception and hospitality extended by the United Arab Emirates, Guterres commended COP28 President Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber for the swift approval of the agenda and the significant operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund, marking a positive start to the conference. Highlighting the pressing concerns witnessed during recent visits to Antarctica's melting ice and Nepal's thawing glaciers, Guterres emphasized the interconnected global crisis caused by disappearing polar ice and glaciers, leading to devastating consequences like landslides, floods, and rising sea levels. The Secretary-General cautioned that despite technological advancements, the Earth's vital signs were deteriorating, citing record emissions, rampant wildf ires, lethal droughts, and the unprecedented high temperatures recorded globally. He warned that the world was significantly off track from meeting the Paris Agreement goals, emphasizing the critical need to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Guterres stressed the necessity for immediate, concerted efforts from global leaders, urging drastic reductions in emissions, a swift transition to renewable energy sources, and increased financial support for climate adaptation and mitigation in developing nations. He called upon the G20 nations, representing a substantial share of global emissions, to lead the charge in setting ambitious targets towards achieving net-zero emissions. Emphasizing the inevitability of transitioning away from fossil fuels, Guterres implored fossil fuel industry leaders to redirect their focus towards renewables, warning that continued reliance on obsolete practices would jeopardize both climate and economic sustainability. He urged governments to intervene by i mplementing regulations, legislation, carbon pricing, and ending fossil fuel subsidies to facilitate this transition. The Secretary-General underlined the imperative need for climate justice, expressing concerns over the disproportionate impact of climate disasters on developing countries. He urged developed nations to fulfill their commitments of financial support for climate adaptation, calling for a surge in finance to aid affected regions and reform in multilateral development banks to leverage private investments for climate-related initiatives. In a passionate plea, Guterres emphasized that the climate crisis was the ultimate test of global leadership and implored world leaders to act decisively, asserting that the fate of humanity rested on their actions. He concluded by urging the COP28 delegates to make this conference a decisive moment in the fight against climate change. The speech by the UN Secretary-General encapsulated the urgency and gravity of the climate crisis, setting a tone of exigency and shared responsibility among global leaders gathered at COP28 in Dubai. Source: National News Agency-Lebanon