With extreme weather events increasingly impacting countries across the world, the United Nations (UN) on Monday underlined the importance of limiting temperature rise to the internationally agreed goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
"The entire planet is going through a season of fire and floods," primarily hurting fragile and vulnerable populations in rich and poor countries alike, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed told a high-level meeting on climate action.
Speaking via video message to the Dialogue on Accelerating Adaptation Solutions Ahead of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), the annual UN climate conference, which will take place in Glasgow in November, the deputy UN chief noted already-visible impacts with a 1.2-degree rise.
"Countries and populations worldwide -- particularly those most vulnerable and least responsible for the climate crisis -- will experience even more devastating consequences," she warned.
"The effects will reverberate through economies, communities and ecosystems, erasing development gains, deepening poverty, increasing migration and exacerbating tensions," she added.
With "bold and decisive steps" towards a net-zero global economy by 2050, Mohammed said that the world could still limit global warming to within 1.5 degrees.
"Acting now is a question of climate justice. And we have the solutions," she said, calling for a "massively scaled-up investment" in adaptation and resilience, and stressing the importance of simplifying rules and easing access for underprivileged countries, especially those in Africa.
With less than 80 days to COP26, the deputy UN chief urged the participants to "act boldly now for people and planet before it's too late."