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Humanity must cooperate or perish: UN chief at COP27

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres gives a speech during the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Monday.

Humanity must “cooperate or perish” in the face of accelerating climate change impacts, UN chief Antonio Guterres told world leaders Monday at talks in Egypt on curbing global warming.

In the midst of a barrage of international crises — from the Covid pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to weather extremes battering economies and shaking international relations — Guterres said the world is in “the fight of our lives”.

“Humanity has a choice: cooperate or perish,” he told the UN COP27 summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik. “It is either a Climate Solidarity Pact, or a Collective Suicide Pact.”

Guterres called for a “historic” deal between rich countries and emerging economies that would aim to reduce emissions and keep the temperature rise to the more ambitions Paris Agreement target of 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial era.

He warned that, on the current trajectory, “we are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator”.