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'The world has a high fever and is burning up': UN urges action on climate change

A man rides a bicycle on the bridge in Shanghai, China, 24 September 2020. Source: EPA

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres urged countries to present tougher climate goals during an online event marking the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement. Mr Guterres urged a six-point climate plan that includes investing in environmentally-friendly jobs, ending bail-outs for polluting industries and fossil-fuel subsidies.

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Mr Johnson added that humanity was taken unawares by the coronavirus - but not on climate change.

"Humanity was caught napping by coronavirus. Let's face it. We were woefully under-prepared. But for this thing, for climate change, nobody can say that we have not been warned and nobody can say that we are not now capable of making the preparations. So that's what we're doing."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also expressed his country's dedication to combating climate change. Stressing the need to not forget about climate change as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, he asked other countries to join the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition and the Powering Past Coal alliance.

"The impacts of climate change are far worse for racialised communities, indigenous peoples and women. Also, any failure to act immediately and decisively will only make the costs of these crises higher and worse over time. But this global pandemic has also created an opportunity to build back better and climate action is an essential part of that."

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Find out what restrictions are in place for your state or territory.

Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at http://www.sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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