World Environment Day: Guterres calls on ‘our only home’ to protect Earth

Journée mondiale de l'environnement: Guterres appelle à protéger la Terre, "notre unique demeure"

Every year June 5 is celebrated as World Environment Day. On this occasion, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, called for the protection of the planet “our only home.”

In his message to the world, Guterres warned that the Earth’s ecosystems “can not provide us with everything we currently expect.”

“We must fully protect the purity of its atmosphere, the richness and diversity of life on Earth, its ecosystems and its finite resources. But we cannot. We ask too much on our planet to preserve sustainable life forms. Earth’s ecosystems cannot provide us with everything we currently expect.” He said.

Recalling that not only Earth was affected, he affirmed that “we are also affected by it” and that a healthy planet is essential for its citizens and to achieve the 17 sustainable development goals.

Earth provides food, clean water and medicine, regulates the climate and protects us from extreme weather events. “It is important to manage nature wisely and ensure equal access to the services it provides, especially for the most vulnerable people and communities,” he said.

More than 3 billion people are affected by the degradation of ecosystems. Pollution causes nearly 9 million premature deaths each year. More than a million flora and fauna are at risk of extinction, in decades.

In addition, nearly half of humanity lives in climate-hazardous areas – 15 times more likely to die from the effects of climate change such as extreme heat, floods and drought. The global average temperature rise over the next five years is likely to exceed the 1.5 degree Celsius limit set by the Paris Agreement. And by 2050, the number of people displaced by climate change will exceed 200 million each year.

According to the Secretary-General, “alarm signals that sound a little louder every day can no longer be ignored.” He noted that participants in the Stockholm Environment Summit this week reaffirmed the need for a healthy planet to achieve 17 sustainable development goals.

“Each of us must accept our responsibility to avert the catastrophe caused by the three crises that combine climate change, pollution and loss of biodiversity,” he said. Guterres said governments need to prioritize climate change and the environment as a matter of urgency. Security by taking policy measures that promote sustainable development.

For his part, Inger Anderson, Managing Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), recalled that World Day was born at the 1972 United Nations Conference in the Swedish capital, on the basis of which “we must work together to protect the air, land and water on which we all depend.” [et] The power of the people is important and very important. “

“Today, the current and future of heat waves, droughts, floods, wildfires, epidemics, dirty air and plastic-filled oceans require more action than ever before. We are running against time,” he said.

Ms Anderson accused “all of us.” In his opinion, politicians need to look beyond elections; Financial institutions must finance the planet and companies must take nature into account.

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