Prime Minister Johnson appealed to the world leaders to limit the rise in temperatures – whose appalling effects were visible even this summer – to 1.5 degrees, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk
It is time for humanity to grow up on climate change, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
He argued that humanity is at a turning point, “where we can no longer take the health of the planet for granted but instead need to take urgent action to halt climate change.”
The prime minister’s speech comes ahead of the UK-hosted COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November.
The PM has used his US visit to push leaders for action on climate change, the BBC reported.
Johnson attempted to strike a humorous note in his speech, saying Kermit the Frog had been wrong when he sang It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green, it was reported.
“An inspection of the fossil record over the last 178 million years – since mammals first appeared – reveals that the average mammalian species exists for about a million years before it evolves into something else or vanishes into extinction,” he said.
He said: “If you imagine that million years as the lifespan of an individual human being – about 80 years – then we are now sweet 16.”
“We have come to that fateful age when we know roughly how to drive and we know how to unlock the drinks cabinet and to engage in all sorts of activity that is not only potentially embarrassing but also terminal.”
“In the words of the Oxford philosopher Toby Ord “we are just old enough to get ourselves into serious trouble.”
Referring to the COP26 summit, he said, “We are approaching that critical turning point – in less than two months – when we must show that we are capable of learning, and maturing, and finally taking responsibility for the destruction we are doing – not just to our planet but to ourselves.”
“It is time for humanity to grow up. It is time for us to listen to the warnings of the scientists – and look at covid, if you want an example of gloomy scientists being proved right – and to understand who we are and what we are doing.”
“The world – this precious blue sphere with its eggshell crust and wisp of an atmosphere – is not some indestructible toy, some bouncy plastic romper room against which we can hurl ourselves to our heart’s content.”
“Daily, weekly, we are doing such irreversible damage that long before a million years are up will have made this beautiful planet effectively uninhabitable – not just for us but for many other species.”
Concluding the speech, Johnson appealed to the world leaders to “limit the rise in temperatures – whose appalling effects were visible even this summer – to 1.5 degrees.”