COP26: leaders warn of irreversible damage without urgent action

Glasgow, UK, Nov 1 (EFE).- World leaders gathered at COP26 in Glasgow have warned of dire consequences unless urgent action is taken to address the climate crisis.

“If we don’t get serious about climate change today, it will be too late for our children to do so tomorrow,” British prime minister Boris Johnson said Monday during the opening ceremony of the summit.

“The longer we fail to act, the worse it gets and the higher the price when we are forced to act,” he said.

“We must not fluff our lines or miss our cue because (future generations) will not forgive us … they will judge us with a bitterness and resentment that eclipses that of any of the climate activists today. And they will be right.”

The secretary-general of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, was more forceful in his remarks, insisting that humanity must slow the rapid pace of rising temperatures “or it stops us”.

The UN chief traced how the planet was changing “before our eyes”, highlighting rising sea levels, melting glaciers, and increasingly frequent extreme weather events, as well as the effects of deforestation.

“We are still heading for climate disaster. Young people know it. Every country sees it. Small island developing states — and other vulnerable ones — live it. For them, failure is not an option. Failure is a death sentence,” Guterres said.

“It is time to say, ‘enough’. Enough of killing ourselves with carbon. Enough of treating nature like a toilet. Enough of burning and drilling and mining our way deeper.

“We are digging our own graves,” he warned.

United States president Joe Biden, who has been heavily criticized by environmental activists who say he has not delivered on election campaign promises to take drastic action to address the climate crisis, said “this is the challenge of our lifetimes.”

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