Volodymyr Zelensky says Russia ending war is necessary 'to save ourselves from the climate disaster'

Volodymyr Zelensky says Russia ending war is necessary 'to save ourselves from the climate disaster'
Image via Creative Commons.

On Tuesday, November 8, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had a somber warning about the dangers of climate change, which, he emphasized, some politicians aren’t taking seriously enough despite the dangers it poses all around the world. And recent reports show why Zelensky is worried.

The day before Zelensky’s online speech, a federal U.S. government draft report on climate change was released. The finalized version of the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5) isn’t expected until 2023, but the draft — which was released by federal agencies that include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA and the National Science Foundation — offered a preview.

According to the draft, the United States is especially problematic where climate change is concerned and is warming even faster than the rest of the world. The effects, the draft notes, have included over 3000 homes and other types of buildings in California destroyed by wildfires in 2021 and 229 deaths from a Pacific Northwest heatwave that same year.

READ MORE:'Past the point of incremental changes': The United States is warming faster than the rest of the world

During his speech, Zelensky stressed the urgency of climate change, saying, “The world needs honesty. We must tell those who do not take the climate agenda seriously that they are making a catastrophic mistake.”

The Ukrainian president went on to say that Russia should be thinking about the dangers of climate change and working with other countries to address the crisis rather than invading Ukraine.

Zelensky explained, “There can be no effective climate policy without peace…. Russia needs to shut the guns and hide its missiles so the world finally hears what we can all really do together to save ourselves from the climate disaster.”

The U.S. government draft report released on November 7 is by no means the only recent report on climate change that has sounded the alarm. In late October, the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported, in its annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, that the three main gases that contribute to global heating — carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide — reached unprecedented levels in 2021.

READ MORE: 'The worst possible news': UN report reveals greenhouse gas levels have hit all-time highs

The WMO, in fact, described this development as “the worst possible news” from a climate change standpoint. And in late September, The Guardian reported that the Arctic Ocean was acidifying at four times the rate of other major bodies of water.

Watch Zelensky’s speech below or at this link.

READ MORE: 'We were shocked': Scientists discover Arctic Ocean acidifying up to four times the rate of other seas

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