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COP 25

UN chief says ‘war against nature must stop’ on eve of COP25

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during a news conference on the eve of the U.N. climate summit, COP 25, in Madrid, Spain, 1 December, 2019
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during a news conference on the eve of the U.N. climate summit, COP 25, in Madrid, Spain, 1 December, 2019 REUTERS/Sergio Perez

On the eve of the COP25 global climate summit in Madrid, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has deplored a lack political will in efforts to tackle global warming.

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“Our war against nature must stop and we know that that is possible," Guterres told reporters in Madrid on Sunday.

The UN chief said scientists and readily available technical knowledge had shown that global warming can be limited to 1.5 decrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels over the next decade, as agreed in the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

US pullout of climate accord

The United States last month began to officially withdraw from the climate agreement, after President Donald Trump announced he would pull out. Under the terms of the accord, no country was allowed to leave in the first three years.

The US is considered the second-greatest polluter globally, right behind China.

The complete withdrawal process takes approximately one year. However, if Trump loses the 2020 presidential election and a new president decides to return to the deal, they would have 30 days in which to do so.

The US will still have representation at COP 25, but no head of government. According to a statement from the US State Department on Saturday, Marcia Bernicat, assistant secretary of state for oceans and international environmental scientific affairs will serve as the head of the delegation.

Additionally, 15 Democratic party representatives headed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi are expected to attend COP 25 in Madrid.

The climate conference had been scheduled to take place in Santiago, Chile, but was cancelled by President Sebastian Pinera due to ongoing anti-government protests.

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