Davos, Switzerland, 18 (EFE).- The world is at risk of a “great fracture” driven by the decoupling of the world’s two largest economies, China and the United States, United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres said Wednesday at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos.
Guterres added that the International Monetary Fund has already warned that dividing the global economy into two blocks could cut global GDP by $1.4 trillion.
“A tectonic rift which would create two different sets of trade rules, two dominant currencies, two internets and two conflicting artificial intelligence strategies,” the UN chief warned.
He added that although there were many aspects where China-US relations diverge, it is essential for the two countries to have “meaningful engagement” in key areas such as climate action, trade and technology, to avoid the decoupling of economies and the possibility of a future confrontation.
Turning his focus to the climate emergency, Guterres said the world was in a “sorry state” and that the international community was “flirting with climate disaster.”
If the world does not stick to the temperature thresholds set in the 2015 Paris Agreement — by keeping global warming below 2 degrees compared to pre-industrial levels — “the consequences would be devastating,” he added.
“Certain parts of the planet would be uninhabitable, and for many, it will mean a death sentence”, said Guterres, who echoed recent revelations that the Exxon oil company has known since the late 1970s that fossil fuel products would lead to global warming.
“And just like the tobacco industry, they rode roughshod over their own science, some in big oil peddled big lies and like the tobacco industry those responsible must be held to account”, he said.
Guterres painted a gloomy global outlook struck by myriad crises: with many countries teetering on the brink of recession, soaring global inflation and the war in Ukraine.
According to the UN chief, the world faces the “gravest levels of geopolitical division and mistrust in generations.”
Guterres urged global leaders to “bridge divides and restore cooperation to advance peace, sustainable development and human rights.” EFE