Caputova: Climate Change Real and We’re Running out of Time

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Slovakia's President Zuzana Caputova addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, at the United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Bratislava/New York, September 25 (TASR) – Speaking at the general debate of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Slovak President Zuzana Caputova pointed to the need to respect the rules on the international level and called on the assembly to battle climate change.

“It’s important to remind ourselves that if one country strips territory of another it’s to be called occupation and not mistaken for peacemaking,” she said.

“Spreading hate or false propaganda can’t be called freedom of speech and using chemical weapons against innocent citizens can’t be justified as fighting against terrorism,” she said, adding that these are the reasons to have a strong UN.

The Slovak president criticised the way that “we’ve serious difficulties to agree on new rules”, explaining that this mostly concerns climate change, new technologies, cyberspace and artificial intelligence. She also took a critical approach towards populism and putting national interests before “the global good”.

“And yet, the best way to be patriotic actually lies not in a national egoism but in co-operation. Here I see climate change as the key issue,” she said, noting that denying of climate change worries her a great deal.

“The scientific evidence is clear. Climate change is a fact and we’re running out of time. But if we act now, we can reduce carbon emissions within 12 years and keep global warming at 1.5 °C,” said Caputova.

“If we can succeed at the local level thanks to activists and NGOs, if we’ve successful green companies, why can’t we do the same thing on the global level?” she asked.

According to her, private companies are becoming aware of the fact that investments in the green economy can be “profitable and economically rational” as such measures create new jobs and business opportunities.