Humanity is “at war against Nature” and we have “the urgent task of making peace” ahead of us, warned António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations before the conference on biodiversity (COP15) that begins tomorrow in Montreal.
Guterres points out that “deforestation and desertification are creating wastelands in once-thriving ecosystems” while the soils, waters and air “are poisoned by chemicals and pesticides, and teeming with plastics.”
Furthermore, “our addiction to fossil fuels has thrown our climate into chaos,” as shown by heat waves, wildfires, droughts, and the destruction caused by floods. “Unsustainable production and consumption are skyrocketing emissions, and degrading our land, sea and air,” added the United Nations Secretary General.
In an exalted and vibrant speech, Guterres once again wanted to deliver a dialectical coup before a new UN summit, in this case on biodiversity.
“Today, a third of all land is degraded, making it difficult to feed growing populations. Plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates are all at risk. A million species are teetering” on the brink of extinction.
Guterres also adds that “the degradation of the oceans is accelerating the destruction of coral reefs that support life and other marine ecosystems”; something that is directly affecting those communities that depend on the oceans for their livelihood.
Ecosystems have become profit toys
“Multinational corporations are filling up their bank accounts while draining our world of its natural gifts. Ecosystems have become profit toys. With our bottomless appetite for uneven and unchecked economic growth, humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction. We are treating nature like a toilet,” she adds.
The Secretary General highlights that “the loss of nature and biodiversity carries a high human” and economic cost. Ecosystem degradation would cost $3 trillion by 2030 due to ecosystem degradation, and this translates into “higher prices for water, food and energy”.
These losses are “deeply unfair and incalculable in the poorest countries” as well as indigenous populations, women and youth. “And those least responsible for this destruction are always the first to feel the impacts. But they are never the last”