Commentary: U.N. chief says there’s a bigger threat than coronavirus

Source: Ryan Heath, Politico, April 21, 2020

NEW YORK — United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will use a video speech marking the 50th Earth Day on Wednesday to confront President Donald Trump and directly link coronavirus with climate change.

The stark language of Guterres’ prepared remarks, obtained by POLITICO, marks a new willingness by the U.N. chief to challenge the Trump administration, which recently halted funding to the World Health Organization, the U.N. health agency, and formally withdrew from the U.N.’s landmark 2015 Paris climate change agreement last year.

Guterres will argue that “climate disruption is approaching a point of no return,” adding that “greenhouse gases, just like viruses, do not respect national boundaries.”

Guterres will also propose that “where taxpayers’ money is used to rescue businesses, it needs to be tied to achieving green jobs and sustainable growth,” mirroring the demands of many Democratic lawmakers. “Public funds should be used to invest in the future, not the past, and flow to sustainable sectors and projects,” Guterres is expected to say.

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