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‘Mutual suicide’: US issues stark warning on climate change

‘Mutual suicide’: US issues stark warning on climate change

‘Our heads in the sand at our own peril,’ US envoy for climate warns, as leaders discuss security implications of global warming.

The United States has warned inaction by world powers on climate change is tantamount to a “mutual suicide pact” after countries such as China, India, and Russia expressed scepticism on the global security threat it posed.

John Kerry, the US special presidential envoy for climate, told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that the Pentagon has described the climate crisis as “a threat multiplier”.

“But even though climate change has been repeatedly called ‘an existential threat’, we honestly have yet as a world to respond with the urgency required,” said Kerry.

He called the climate situation “indisputably a Security Council issue” after some nations said it had no place for discussion at the UN body.

“In fact, it is among the most complex and compelling security issues that I think we’ve ever faced.”

Failing to address climate change is “marching forward to what is almost tantamount to a mutual suicide pact”, said Kerry. “We bury our heads in the sand at our own peril. It’s urgent to treat the climate crisis as the urgent security threat that it is.”

The stance by the administration of President Joe Biden comes in stark contrast to that of former US leader Donald Trump, who pulled out of the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement and ignored climate policy during his four years in power.

Experts believe the world must reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner to ensure long-term warming is held to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (34.7 degrees Fahrenheit) and avoid triggering catastrophic climate tipping points.

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