Antnio Guterres says exiting landmark accord would threaten US economy and society: If someone leaves a void, I guarantee someone will fill it
The UN secretary general, Antnio Guterres, warned on Tuesday that if the US exits the Paris climate agreement, there could be negative economic, security and societal consequences for the country.
Guterres issued the warning after calling on world leaders to adhere to the agreement in his first major speech on climate change as secretary general.
His remarks at New York Universitys Stern School of Business came as the world waits for Donald Trump to announce whether the country will continue to uphold the Paris deal, which nearly 200 countries signed as a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In a question and answer session after the speech, a student asked how the US can address climate change when its president has threatened to back out of the Paris accord.
If someone leaves a void, I guarantee someone will fill it, said Guterres, who went on to explain what consequences such an exit could have for the US.
Today, the economy and social aspects are linked to the environmental aspects, but they are also linked to the security aspects, they are linked to the risks of conflict, said Guterres.
He continued: if you leave a void to others to occupy, you might be creating a problem to your own internal security.