‘Climate action starts with all of us,’ says UNGA president

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) — “Climate action starts with all of us,” said Dennis Francis, president of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), in a recent interview with Xinhua, urging everyone to contribute to the collective effort of stabilizing the climate.

During the interview conducted on the heels of the COP28, or the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Francis, donning his signature “1.5 degrees Celsius” pin, a daily reminder of his commitment, stressed the world’s shared responsibility in combating climate change, calling for a global reevaluation of “lifestyles and habits.”

The UNGA president urged individuals to consider their daily actions, such as walking rather than driving to the supermarket, as small steps that “cumulatively impact” the global climate.

He stressed that the responsibility of managing and stabilizing the climate extends beyond governments to encompass the entire society, including the private sector and local communities.

Highlighting the role of the private sector in energy generation and the potential for communities to adopt environmentally friendly energy sources, Francis pointed out the encouraging trend of sustainable energy sources becoming increasingly available.

“More and more sources are coming online every day,” he observed, suggesting a positive direction in the global shift towards sustainable practices.

“Damage to the planet would be tantamount to damage to the longevity of civilization as we know it,” he warned, highlighting the gravity of the situation and the urgent need for a united front in addressing climate change.

Meanwhile, the UNGA president stressed the pressing importance of curbing greenhouse gas emissions as a critical remedy for climate change.

“We are well aware of the primary sources responsible for driving climate change,” Francis stated, recognizing the compelling scientific evidence attributing the escalating greenhouse gas emissions as the main culprit.

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“The solution is to change course, to reduce the level of growth in the emissions in the atmosphere,” he said, underscoring the necessity of altering the current trajectory to stabilize the climate.

“The response to climate change and the basis of climate action starts with reducing the level of carbon in the atmosphere,” the UNGA president asserted.

Commenting on the COP28 that concluded on Wednesday in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, with a landmark agreement to address the climate crisis, Francis conveyed his contentment with the outcome document’s explicit reference to the need for “a transition away from hydrocarbon-based energy.”

The UNGA chief saw this move toward “more sustainable and eco-friendly energy sources” as a noteworthy enhancement in the fight against climate change.

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