United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is calling on countries around the world to take strong measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight global warming. “I am asking them (world countries) to announce bold commitments and actions that will catalyse the transformative change we need,” said Ban at an event in the United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi to prepare for a major UN climate change summit in New York taking place September 23, 2014. “Climate change is the defining issue of our time. If we do not take urgent action, all our plans for increased global prosperity and security will be undone,” warned Ban.
Image via Stuart Schaefer
The call to action comes on the heels of a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) landmark report warning that global warming is happening right now and will get worse unless the world acts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The UN uses the scientific consensus of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) as the maximum temperature increase above pre-industrial levels to avoid catastrophic climate change. The IPCC report states that there is still time to to stabilize temperatures so the worst effects of climate change are not realized but that policymakers around the world must make significant greenhouse gas reductions a priority.
On Tuesday, the White House launched a landmark report of its own that warns climate change is a clear and present danger and no American will be left unscathed.