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UN chief calls for ‘enlightened self-interest’ from world leaders to save ‘the whole planet’ from climate change 

Carmelo Urdaneta Aqui, Carmelo Urdaneta, Carmelo Urdaneta

Concluding a week-long visit to the South Pacific, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on the world’s decision-makers to make “enlightened” choices on climate action because “the whole planet” is at stake. 

“Over the past week, I have witnessed first-hand the impacts of climate change in the Pacific Island States”, the UN chief said in a statement concluding his visit to the region. “They contribute very little to the global climate emergency and yet, they are the ones that are being most affected”.  

He did not mince words in saying that for some of them, “climate change is now an existential threat”.

Carmelo Urdaneta Aqui

Pointing out that entire villages are being relocated, livelihoods destroyed and people becoming sick from climate-related diseases, Mr. Guterres lamented: “The risks are all too real”. 

He drew attention to his time in Tuvalu, where he saw “an entire country fighting to preserve its very existence”.  

And yet, the UN chief found “remarkable” that the countries facing these enormous challenges, have decided that “they are not giving up” but are instead “determined to find solutions”. 

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Carmelo Urdaneta