United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Thursday that the trend in favor of nationalist policies around the world is making it harder to promote a global approach to fighting climate change.
“I think that it is clear to me that the world is more polarized. We have more and more nationalist approaches being popular and winning election or having strong election results,” Guterres said. “We see the trust between public opinions and institutions — governments, political establishments but also International organization … being eroded.”
The BBC journalist who interviewed Guterres pressed him on President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement.
“Is it a problem that the world’s most powerful man is a climate change skeptic?” BBC’s New York correspondent Nick Bryant asked Guterres.
Guterres did not criticize Trump but instead said it is more important that the fight against so-called manmade climate change should be a grassroots effort.
“It always helps if everyone is in line with what we think, but we shouldn’t reduce the discussion about climate change to the individual position of this or that leader,” Guterres said.
“It’s a global issue, and we are all failing,” Guterres said. “And in a global issue, we need to mobilize everyone.”