Humanity Is A Weapon Of Mass Extinction, UN Leader Says, 'What Example Are We Setting' For Our Children

Zinger Key Points
  • The COP 15 is being held in Montreal with a focus on clean energy initiatives.
  • The leader of the U.N. calls on plans to fight fossil fuels and protect nature.

The Secretary General of the United Nations kicked off the 15th Conference on Biodiversity (COP 15) with statements to protect Earth and save nature. Here’s what Antonio Guterres said.

What Happened: Seen as one of the most important world meetings of the last decade, COP 15 is sharing opinions and plans from world leaders and scientists on what can be done to help improve the survival of humanity. Among the key topics was fossil fuels.

Guterres said governments must end the “orgy of destruction” and called humanity a weapon of mass extinction during his speech.

“We are out of harmony with nature. In fact, we are playing an entirely different song,” Guterres said. “Around the world, for hundreds of years, we have conducted a cacophony of chaos, played with instruments of destruction. Deforestation and desertification are creating wastelands of once-thriving ecosystems.”

Guterres went on to state that land, water and air around the world have been poisoned by chemicals and pesticides, as reported by CleanTechnica

“The most important lesson we impart to children is to take responsibility for their actions. What example are we setting when we ourselves are failing this basic test? The deluded dreams of billionaires aside, there is no Planet B.”

Guterres has served as Secretary General of the UN since 2017, the ninth person to hold the role. Guterres previously served as the Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke on conserving 30% of the Earth for nature by the year 2030 in his opening remarks at COP 15.

“We have not chosen that 30% number at random. It is the critical threshold according to the greatest scientists to avoid the risk of extinction and also to ensure our food and economic security,” Trudeau said.

Related Link: UN Chief Pledges Diplomatic Talks To Denuclearize Kim Jong Un's North Korea 

Why It’s Important: The COP 15 runs from Dec. 7 through Dec. 19 in Montreal, Canada. The conference is expected to address targets for pollution and new agricultural practices.

Scientists are speaking out on the loss of wildlife and nature and the impact it could have on Earth, including mass extinction. One scientist pointed to a study on the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns and the reduction in traffic and human contact having a positive impact on nature around the world.

The European Union announced prior to COP 15 that it was banning all products that are considered to impact deforestation, which could affect industries producing cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, rubber, soya and wood products.


Electric vehicle giant Tesla Inc TSLA is one company that could benefit from stricter controls on fossil fuels and a push to electrification. Tesla is a leader in many countries worldwide for electric vehicle unit sales.

Investors could also look to several ETFs as an option to capitalize on the trend of clean energy and the calls for action at the U.N. meeting.

The iShares Global Clean Energy ETF ICLN has 100 holdings and $4.9 billion in assets under management. The ETF is up 21.8% and 18.0% over the last three years and five years respectively. Benzinga recently pointed the ETF out as one that could benefit from a Democrat-controlled House and Senate as the U.S. pushed through more clean energy initiatives.

The Invesco Solar ETF TAN is another clean energy ETF with a focus on the solar sector. The ETF holds a basket of 53 holdings and has $2.2 billion in assets under management. The ETF is up 6.6% and 25.1% over the last three years and five years respectively.

Clean energy will likely continue to be a battleground issue in politics in the U.S. and worldwide. The comments and initiatives launched at COP 15 could help predict what the rest of the world will do between now and 2030.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Posted In: Specialty ETFsPoliticsETFsGeneralAntonio Guterresclean energyclean energy stockselectric vehiclesEuropean UnionJustin TrudeauUnited Nations
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