On the occasion of "World Environment Day", Guterres delivered a speech titled "Time to Face Reality on Climate" at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Stating that the planet is trying to send a message to people but the message is not being heard and global warming is increasing more and more, Guterres said, "It is time to face reality."

Guterres underlined that global emissions should be reduced by 9 percent every year to keep the global warming limit at 1.5 degrees.

Using the meteor analogy that caused the extinction of dinosaurs, Guterres said, "We are not in the position of dinosaurs when it comes to climate. We are in the position of the meteor. We are the danger and the solution on climate."

30 candidates in a village of 46 inhabitants! 30 candidates in a village of 46 inhabitants!


"We are playing Russian roulette with the planet. We need to get out of climate hell and we are in control of the steering wheel."

Noting that the 1.5 degree limit is not just a target, but a physical limit, the UN Secretary-General emphasized that a much stronger struggle is needed to maintain it.

Pointing out that the steps to be taken on climate change should not be condemned to geopolitical divisions, Guterres said that the poor societies that contribute the least to the climate crisis are those who are most exposed to the impact of this crisis.

Guterres said, "The richest 1 percent of the world produces 2/3 of the emissions produced by all mankind. The climate crisis also triggers extreme events. Lives are ruined, economies are hit and health is undermined."


"We have the necessary infrastructure to save ourselves," Guterres said, adding that forests and seas absorb carbon from the atmosphere and should be protected.

At the same time, Guterres said, the necessary technology exists to reduce emissions and renewable energy continues to develop, meeting 30 percent of the world's energy needs.

"Economic logic makes the end of the fossil fuel era indispensable," the UN Secretary-General said, listing the areas where urgent action is needed in the first 18 months as "reducing emissions, protecting people and nature from extreme climate events, increasing climate finance and limiting the fossil fuel industry."

UN Secretary-General Guterres warns of global warming: "It's time to face reality" - 1
Guterres emphasized the importance of all countries fulfilling their commitments and responsibilities in this context.

Underlining that it is not possible to fool nature, Guterres warned that the wrong solutions will backfire.

Guterres said that it is unacceptable that those who cause the climate crisis sit in their "air-conditioned environments" while the most vulnerable and those who did not cause it are left to struggle.

Noting the need for financing for new climate plans, Guterres also emphasized the importance of taxing the profits of fossil fuel companies.

Guterres stated that climate finance is not a choice, it is a must for a livable future, and that fossil fuels not only poison the planet, but also damage the branding process of companies.

"No single country can solve the climate crisis alone. This is a moment when everyone needs to be involved."

Noting that the UN is working hard to build trust, find solutions and encourage cooperation, Guterres said: "Don't lose courage and hope. If people stand up to those who pollute and profit, we can win together. Tomorrow will be too late. Now is the time to act."


"The fossil fuel industry is the godfather of the climate crisis," Guterres said, calling for a direct confrontation with an industry that shows no willingness to make progress.

"I call on all countries to ban advertising by fossil fuel companies," Guterres said, noting that through lobbying, legal action and advertising campaigns, the fossil fuel industry "shamelessly" portrays its damaging activities as not harming the environment.

Guterres said that climate change is the existential crisis of our time and should be prioritized and kept independent from all other issues.

Pointing to the importance of political will, the UN Secretary-General commented, "As long as there is political will, everything is possible."

Editor: David Goodman