09 Mar 2017 Story Climate change

Climate change major driver of conflict, hunger: UN Secretary General in Nairobi

Climate change is the biggest “mega trend” endangering millions of lives across the planet, and UN Environment has a key role to play in building resilience and helping people and nations to adapt.

This was the message put forward yesterday by newly appointed UN Secretary-General António Guterres in an address to UN Environment's governing body in Nairobi, Kenya.

On the back of a visit to see the devastating effects of climate change and conflict in Somalia, which faces its third famine in 25 years, Mr Guterres spoke to UN Environment’s Committee of Permanent Representatives and emphasized the link between their work on the environment and peace, security, sustainable development and human rights.

"We are seeing a tremendous change in the capacity of entire regions of the world to sustain human life", Mr Guterres said, while highlighting UN Environment’s global perspective and achievements in creating the conditions needed for communities and societies to become more resilient.

“[This] will only be possible if we can tame climate change and other factors that make competition for resources a key factor for destabilization,” added Mr Guterres.

A significant milestone of progress toward this goal will be made in December, when the UN’s 193 member states and other key stakeholders will meet in Nairobi for the Environmental Assembly – the world’s highest-level decision making body on the environment – to discuss environmental “mega trends” and how to move toward a pollution free world.