23 Sep 2021, 20:59

US urges greater ambition as UN Security Council tackles climate

    UNITED NATIONS, United States, Sept 23, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - US Secretary of
State Antony Blinken on Thursday urged all countries to raise climate
ambitions as the UN Security Council took up the environmental crisis,
warning that it is aggravating conflicts.

   Blinken pointed to record rains in New York that contributed to dozens of
deaths and said that climate has aggravated conflicts in countries such as
Syria, Mali, Yemen, South Sudan, and Ethiopia.

   "The climate crisis isn't coming. It's already here and clear patterns are
emerging and its impact, the consequences, are falling disproportionately on
vulnerable and low-income populations," Blinken said.

   "All our nations must take immediate, bold actions," Blinken said, weeks
ahead of high-stakes UN climate talks in Glasgow.

   In a veiled reference to China, the only emitter larger than the United
States, Blinken highlighted President Joe Biden's pledge before the United
Nations on Tuesday to double financial support for the hardest-hit countries.

   "We urge other governments to step up in making these investments,
particularly those like the United States that are the biggest emitters,"
Blinken said.

   The Security Council meeting called by current president Ireland follows a
first top-level session on climate led by British Prime Minister Boris
Johnson in February.

   Russia has been skeptical, saying that climate does not fit the agenda of
the Security Council.

   Blinken said that taking up climate sends a "clear message to the
international community of the serious implications that climate change has
for our collective security."

   UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the session that a recent
report by UN scientists that showed dangerously intensifying levels of
climate change was "a code red for humanity."

   He said that at least 30 million people were displaced by climate-related
disasters last year and that "no region is immune."

   "Our window of opportunity to prevent the worst climate impacts is rapidly
closing," he warned.

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