United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed concerns over the rising level of oceans, and said India was among the countries that were most vulnerable, PTI reported on Monday. The United Nations chief made the remarks on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Bangkok, Thailand.

Guterres highlighted a report that claimed the level of oceans was rising faster than anticipated due to climate change. He asserted that unless countries changed the trend, 300 million people will face floods by 2050.

“Dramatically, the most vulnerable areas are exactly in Southeast Asia, in Japan, China, Bangladesh and India,” Guterres said, adding that 10% of Thailand’s population was likely to be flooded. He said these nations need to be the example and work towards carbon pricing, stopping subsidies, and construction of coal plants to tackle climate change.

The research, published in the journal Nature on October 29, said that a rise in sea levels may wipe out some of the famous coastal cities in the world, including Mumbai, in approximately the next 30 years. The authors of the research paper found that about 150 million people are currently living on land that may be below the high-tide line by midcentury.

Guterres said that while people may discuss how precise the figures were, it was clear that climate change was “running faster” and was the most significant threat to the planet at the moment. He said the United Nations was deeply committed to bringing the counteractive action to the attention of business communities, civil societies, and governments.

“And for that to be possible, we need to be carbon neutral in 2050 and reduce the emissions by 45% in the next decade,” Guterres said. He added that there was an “addiction to coal” that countries need to overcome.

Also read:

1. By 2050, Mumbai and other major coastal cities may be wiped out by rising sea, say researchers

2. This map shows that climate chaos is already claiming lives (including in India)

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