Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

UN Chief: "Glaciers Are Critical to All Life on Earth”

Thu 23 Mar 2023 | 10:57 AM
Ahmed Emam

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has warned of ‘catastrophic’ consequences of a world without glaciers as planet-warming pollution are already more severe than expected.

In his address at the UN 2023 Water Conference on Wednesday, the UN chief stressed that glaciers are “critical to all life on Earth”, warning that unless the rise in sea level due to global warming is reversed, “the consequences will be catastrophic.”

Guterres who also chaired a conference side event dedicated to the issue of preserving the world’s glaciers that new data released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) highlighted that global average sea levels have already risen faster since 1900, “than over any preceding century in the last 3,000 years.”

He noted that “low-lying communities and entire countries could be erased forever. We would witness mass movements of entire populations - and fierce competition for water and land.”

Furthermore, natural disasters would simply accelerate worldwide, including more floods, droughts and deadly landslides, the UN Chief pointed out.

He explained that glaciers have exerted extraordinary influence on humankind’s evolution, carving out the landmasses we all call home, and extending over 10 per cent of the Earth’s landmass.

"The world’s water towers”, represent the largest reservoir of fresh water there is, supporting our nutrition, health, economies, and energy production, and supplying snow-melt that provides water for one in every four people on the planet."

"Human activity is driving our planet’s temperature to dangerous new heights,” he warned.