United Nations chief António Guterres said in a new interview that “we are doomed” without actions to prevent greenhouse gas emissions.
“We need to have the big emitters understanding that their role is essential, because if the big emitters fail, everything will fail,” Guterres told Reuters at a climate conference in Madrid.
“If we just go on as we are, we are doomed,” he added.
Guterres also said major emitters should show they will be more ambitious next year and “hopefully” commit to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“History cannot accept that my generation will betray our children and grandchildren,” he said, according to Reuters.
Guterres also praised the European Union’s embrace of a “European Green Deal” to move toward a low-carbon economy.
“It is always essential that someone starts,” he told Reuters. “If Europe will do so, that, I think, will be a very important contribution for others to consider the same kind of commitment. If no one starts, then there is no chance.”
The European Green Deal was slated to be released Wednesday to coincide with the U.N. climate summit.
At the meeting Wednesday, Guterres condemned “bureaucratic and regulatory obstacles” to climate action such as “perverse fossil fuel subsidies.”
“We are quickly nearing our last opportunity to be on the right side of history,” he said.
“Let’s make 2020 the year we put the world for a carbon-neutral future.”