UN chief: World must prevent runaway climate change by 2020

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the world is facing "a direct existential threat" and must rapidly shift from dependence on fossil fuels by 2020 to prevent "runaway climate change."

The U.N. chief called the crisis urgent and said Monday there has been a lack of leadership to address global warming.

"Climate change is moving faster than we are," Guterres said. "We need to put the brake on deadly greenhouse gas emissions and drive climate action."

He said people everywhere are experiencing record-breaking temperatures, and extreme heatwaves, wildfires, storms and floods "are leaving a trail of death and devastation."

Guterres said scientists have been warning about global warming for decades, but "far too many leaders have refused to listen — far too few have acted with the vision the science demands."