On July 27, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres made an urgent speech in New York, declaring that "the era of global boiling has arrived." He criticised world leaders for their insufficient and delayed responses to the climate crisis, and appealed for immediate action if we are to avoid a global catastrophe.
This summer, record-breaking heatwaves, raging wildfires, and devastating floods struck the Northern Hemisphere and displaced tens of thousands of people, ruining infrastructure and causing serious damage to biodiversity. July 2023 is on its way to be the hottest month ever recorded so far, and with no signs of significant cuts in global emissions, we can expect this to be just the beginning.
Ultimately, Guterres' message was not one of despair but an urgent call for action. "Leaders must lead", he said, and reminded that it is still possible to keep global heating increase at no more than 1.5°C compared to levels before the industrial revolution. To do so, the world must act immediately. “All actors must come together to accelerate a just and equitable transition from fossil fuels to renewables," he said, "as we stop oil and gas expansion and funding and licensing for new coal, oil, and gas.”