The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights warned Monday that climate change heralds a “truly terrifying” dystopian future in which hunger and suffering prevail.
Volker Türk criticized world leaders for only looking at the short term when dealing with the climate crisis.
Türk also said during a debate at the United Nations Human Rights Council on the right to food that extreme weather events destroy crops, livestock and ecosystems, and this undermines the ability of societies to rebuild and sustain themselves, and makes this task impossible.
“More than 828 million people will experience hunger in 2021. Climate change is expected to put up to 80 million additional people at risk of hunger by the middle of this century,” he added.
Flood Emoji (iStock)
The environment is burning
“Our environment burns. It melts. It floods. It dries up. It dies… The future is miserable,” he said.
And the UN official considered, “Addressing the problem of climate change is one of the human rights issues… We still have time to work. But that time is now.”
Signatories to the 2015 Paris Agreement agreed to cap global warming at “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above average levels recorded between 1850 and 1900, and to 1.5 degrees Celsius if possible.
In 2022, the global average temperature will be 1.15°C above the 1850-1900 average. On current climate policy trends, the planet will be 2.8°C warmer by the end of the century, according to the Climate Science Advisory Committee of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
“We should not pass on this future of hunger and suffering to our children and their children. And we don’t have to. We, the generation with the most powerful technological tools in history, have the power to change it,” Türk said.
The fifty-third session of the Human Rights Council runs until July 14.
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