UN Chief Calls for Decisive Action to Avert ‘Climate Catastrophe’ Ahead of Glasgow Summit
New York (United Nations) – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called on world leaders to step up with a decisive action at the upcoming Climate Change Conference (COP26) to prevent a global climate collapse.
Earlier on Monday, Guterres met in New York with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for an informal roundtable on climate action ahead of the COP26 that will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, between October 31 and November 12.
“I convened this meeting with Prime Minister Johnson for a very simple reason. It is a wake-up call to instill a sense of urgency on the dire state of the climate process ahead of COP26,” Guterres said. “My message this morning, and to the Conference of Parties in November, is that we need decisive action now to avert climate catastrophe.”
Guterres said the global community must deliver on three fronts – keeping temperature rise to 1.5-degree within reach, delivering on the $100 billion a year for climate action in developing countries and scaling up funds for adaptation.
The UN chief also noted countries need to achieve a “dramatic” improvement in Nationally Determined Contributions to reduce national emissions. Developed countries, especially G20 nations, must set the example.
“Governments must shift subsidies away from fossil fuels and progressively phase out coal use. [The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development] nations need to end coal use by 2030. Developing nations need to follow suit by 2040,” Guterres said.
In addition, Guterres called to support adapting to the impacts of climate change in developing nations. He pointed out, adaptation measures now cost $70 billion a year in vulnerable countries and this number is expected to rise to $300 billion by 2030.
“This is why I have been asking all donors and financiers to commit to allocating 50 per cent of climate finance to adaptation,” he said.
Last week, a report by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change warned nations are on a “catastrophic pathway” to 2.7-degrees of heating and should cut their emissions by 45% by 2030 to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century.