United Nations (EFE)
“Under any scenario, countries like Bangladesh, China, India and the Netherlands are at risk. Megacities on all continents are facing serious impacts including Cairo, Lagos, Maputo, Bangkok, Dhaka, Yarkarta, Mumbai, Shanghai, Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, New York, Buenos Aires and Santiago,” Guterres said.
The head of the United Nations made this statement in a speech before the Security Council, which met on Tuesday to discuss the consequences of the rise in sea level in the field of peace and security.
The highest sea rise in 3,000 years
According to Guterres, the rise in waters -accelerated by the climate crisis and which was greater in the last century than in any other in the last 3,000 years- is both a problem in itself and a “multiplier” of other threats and is already creating ” new sources of instability and conflict.
“Rising seas threaten lives and jeopardize access to water, food and medical care. Saltwater ingress can decimate jobs and entire economies in key industries like agriculture, fishing, and tourism. It can damage or destroy vital infrastructure, ”he listed.
In the case of some communities and countries, he stressed, the phenomenon poses an existential problem, especially if the most alarming projections made by scientific organizations come true.
“Mass exodus of Biblical proportions”
“The danger is especially acute for the almost 900 million people who live in low-lying coastal areas, that is, one in ten people on Earth,” he noted.
Guterres warned that the combination of the rise of the sea and the entry of salt water into certain ecosystems threatens, for example, to make some of the world’s great deltas uninhabitable, such as the Mekong river in Vietnam or the Ganges in India and Bangladesh.
“Low communities and entire countries could disappear forever. We would see a mass exodus of entire populations of biblical proportions. And we would see even more fierce competition for fresh water, land and other resources,” he insisted.
For all these reasons, the Portuguese diplomat asked the international community for determined actions in three main areas: the fight against global warming, the protection of vulnerable communities and the modification of international legislation to protect the displaced.