U.N. Secretary General says climate change poses a "global risk" ahead of summit

U.N. chief on "global risk" of climate change

New York — The Trump administration on Wednesday is expected to formally revoke California's authority to set tailpipe pollution rules that are stricter than federal standards. It comes as world leaders are set to address the global climate crisis at the United Nations next week.

It's also been three years since the adoption of the Paris Climate Accord. Yet the world is still getting hotter and planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions are still rising. Which is why U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called a special climate summit to try to reboot the plan. 

In an interview with CBS News, Guterres said, "nature is angry."

"Nature, you cannot play tricks with nature. Nature strikes back and we are seeing nature striking back and this is a very serious problem," he said.

"Are you hearing other countries say 'Well, oh, if they won't why should we?'" CBS News asked.

"No, I don't think that is the problem anymore. Because the risk is a global risk. It's not a risk for one country or another," Guterres said.

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U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres CBS News

In order to participate in next week's climate summit, governments had to commit to further action and an additional cutback in the use of fossil fuels. President Trump will not attend.


In our "Eye on Earth" series, we're looking ahead to a landmark United Nations Climate Action Summit next week. CBS News is the only broadcast network participating in the "Covering Climate Now" Project, in partnership with 250 other news outlets. We're highlighting the health of our planet with our own original reporting.

  • Mark Phillips
    Mark Phillips

    Mark Phillips is CBS News senior foreign correspondent, based in London.