Kathmandu, 1 November 2023 (TDI): The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres during his visit to the region of Mount Everest in Nepal on October 30, called on the world to work on the climate change as he witnessed the melting glaciers putting entire communities at risk of extinction.
The UN Secretary-General while addressing from the base of Mount Everest, stressed that Nepal has lost almost a third of its ice volume in 30 years, with glaciers melting 65 % faster in the last decade than in the previous one.
He also emphasized that the rooftops of the world are caving in, with glaciers disappearing altogether at a larger risk.
While delineating the risk of the quick melting of glaciers, the Secretary-General shed light, “Glaciers are icy reservoirs – the ones here in the Himalayas supply fresh water to well over a billion people. When they shrink, so do river flows,”
He further explicated that glaciers high in the Himalayas feed large river systems, and sustain crops, livestock, and local economies, in a region that is home to over 1.8 billion people.
In further speaking on the risk of the quick melting of glaciers, he asserted, “However, with rising global temperatures on the back of climate change, glacial snow ice compressed over centuries is melting faster than ever – not only in the Himalayas but also in crucial areas such as Antarctica and Greenland.”
In this context, the UN Secretary-General warned the world that in the future, major Himalayan rivers like the Indus, the Ganges, and the Brahmaputra, could experience massively reduced flows and in combination with salt water, decimate delta regions.
He also stressed that such reduced water flow would spell catastrophe for low-lying countries and would result in communities erased forever.
The UN Secretary-General shared that his mission to the Everest region was to cry out from the rooftop of the world, to “Stop the madness”, and underscore the need to end the age of fossil fuel to protect people on the frontlines of climate change induced destruction.
Also read: Nepali Mountaineer sets climbing record
He concluded his address by highlighting, “We must act now to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C, to avert the worst of climate chaos. The world can’t wait,”
Is to be noted that the UN Secretary-General is on an official visit to Nepal at the invitation of the Government of Nepal.