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UN chief says climate change is ‘most important issue we face’

Antonio Guterres was speaking at a summit in Katowice, Poland.

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A view of Earth (American Institute of Biological Sciences/PA)

A view of Earth (American Institute of Biological Sciences/PA)

A view of Earth (American Institute of Biological Sciences/PA)

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres has appealed to world leaders to take seriously the threat of global warming and take bold action to avert a catastrophic rise in temperatures.

Mr Guterres called climate change “the single most important issue we face”, speaking on Monday at the ceremonial opening of a UN summit in Katowice, Poland.

The UN chief chided countries, particularly those most responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, for failing to do enough to meet the goals of the Paris climate accord.

The 2015 agreement set a goal of keeping global warming well below 2C (3.6F), ideally 1.5C (2.7F) by the end of the century.

Mr Guterres urged countries to aim for net zero emissions by 2050 and radically reduce the use of fossil fuels such as coal.

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