Earth will become “an uninhabitable hell for millions of people” unless leaders begin to confront the climate change crisis with urgency, the United Nations warned.
The agency issued a report Monday cautioning that “the future of mankind looks very bleak” if the world continues to endure the same rise in natural disasters brought on by the extreme weather seen over the last two decades.
“It is baffling that we willingly and knowingly continue to sow the seeds of our own destruction, despite the science and evidence that we are turning our only home into an uninhabitable hell for millions of people,” the report said.
Between 2000 and 2019, there was a “staggering” number of natural disasters, which caused 1.23 million casualties and led to $2.97 trillion in worldwide economic losses, according to the report.
The figures had nearly doubled during that period to 6,681, up from 3,656 between 1980 and 1999, the report said.
Worsening floods and storms accounted for about four-fifths of the total of disasters over the last two decades, but there was also a rising number of droughts, wildfires and heatwaves, the agency said.
“We are willfully destructive. That is the only conclusion one can come to,” said Mami Mizutori, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for disaster risk deduction, adding that action on climate change and other major threats is lagging.
“COVID-19 is but the latest proof that political and business leaders are yet to tune into the world around them,” she added.
The report urged world leaders to direct their efforts immediately to investing in prevention, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.
“It really is all about governance if we want to deliver this planet from the scourge of poverty, further loss of species and biodiversity, the explosion of urban risk and the worst consequences of global warming,” Mizutori said.
With Post wires
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