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INTERNATIONAL, ENVIRONMENT, HEADLINE

UN General Assembly 2023: President Horta calls on global leaders to save planet earth

UN General Assembly 2023: President Horta calls on global leaders to save planet earth

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DILI, 22 september 2023 (TATOLI) – The President of the Republic, José Ramos Horta, in his speech at the 78th UN General Assembly, called on the global leaders to save planet Earth. 

Horta said the global leaders are not paying enough attention to the impact that rising temperatures have in heightening conflict and violence, particularly in fragile and vulnerable states: “People living in fragile circumstances already feel the effects of climate change most severely.”

“Our common home, Planet Earth, has been wrecked over centuries by its worst predators, we humans. And it is in such existential challenging times that we realize how we are lacking inspiring global leaders capable of summoning leaders and citizens to rescue the planet,” the Head of State said in New York, on Thursday. 

Horta said the world needs a new outlook on the climate and security nexus, which will address the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation on peace, and security and ensure that the quest for energy transition does not worsen the security situation in fragile countries.

“We are proposing a bold initiative in this area, one that seeks to accelerate a just energy transition in fragile developing states that heavily rely on oil and gas production to prevent turmoil and unrest,” He said. 

The Head of State said that the combined efforts of unlocking finance through debt alleviation, streamlining international finance at the lowest interest rates, and significantly increasing official development assistance, will empower these nations to embark on projects that both foster the development of clean industries and address the ongoing loss and damage related to climate change, facilitating both their efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas and adapt to climate change.

Horta insisted that the initiatives to further the just transition exist, but the global leaders do not pay enough attention to fragile or vulnerable states, LDCs, and SIDS.

He urged the global leaders to pay urgent attention to the particular challenges faced by fragile states that are not only susceptible to fragility and vulnerability on their own, but face heightened risk when faced with massive economic turmoil, which the green transition – if not handled carefully – could increase. 

Horta said the world is in an urgent transition to a low-carbon economy and clean energy, stating therefore, the leaders must seek to ensure that the quest for rare earth elements and critical minerals does not lead to further instability nor promote weak governance or exacerbate local tensions nor grievances in the countries where strategic reserves of such elements and minerals are found: “This initiative seeks to create a more sustainable future for our planet and all its inhabitants. By facilitating the energy transition in small island development states, LDCs, and climate-vulnerable nations, we aim to mitigate climate change impacts and preserve our shared global environment for generations to come.”

“We continue to be witnesses to the super-rich CEOs of banks and creditor countries, who, even when facing the agony of poverty and the rising cost of living in the most impoverished countries, remain defiant to international calls for debt cancellation,” Horta added. 

 

Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

 Editor: Nelia Borges 

 

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