“Humanity has opened the gates of hell.” That was the stark warning of U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres Wednesday as he opened a special summit on the climate crisis on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. Guterres castigated wealthy nations and fossil fuel interests for failing to stop the burning of coal, oil and gas; he did not invite leaders of the U.S. and China — the world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters — to address the summit, saying only those who take climate action seriously would be allowed to attend. Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley noted the summit coincided with a U.N. Security Council meeting on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley: “And I hope that in the same way we can take Ukraine seriously in the Security Council, that we can take the climate crisis seriously and the financing needs for it in the Security Council. This is as much a threat. In fact, it is a greater threat, because more lives are at stake globally than are at stake in Ukraine.”