Tuesday 10 December 2019

Rising sea levels pose a threat to our existence, Dutch PM tells UN summit

Photo: Government.nl

The Dutch feel ‘very strongly’ about climate change because ‘rising sea levels pose a direct threat to our very existence,’ Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said on the opening day of the 25th United Nationals climate summit in Madrid.

None of us can escape the consequences of climate change. None of us can turn a blind eye to what is happening right now, and what will happen in the future,’ Rutte said.  ‘All of us have a responsibility to tackle the causes of climate change and adapt to its impact. All of us – together.’

More than 50 world leaders are attending the summit, which was moved from Chile to Spain because of the trouble in the South American country. COP25 is also the last meeting before 2020 when many countries are due to present new climate action plans.

The Dutch prime minister said that more had to be done than limiting carbon emissions to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees.

‘Even if we achieve this ultimate goal of the Paris Climate Agreement, we’ll have to tackle the consequences of a changing climate. We need to adapt,’ he said.

The Netherlands, Rutte said, is investing billions of euros in adapting the country to the changing climate and Dutch engineers are working on similar projects all over the world.

Rutte also invited delegates to attend what he said was the first-ever global Climate Adaptation Summit, which will take place in Amsterdam in October 2020.

The Madrid summit runs until December 13 with delegates from more than 200 countries.

More on the summit from El Pais
More on the summit from Al Jazeera

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