COP26: Promises ‘ring hollow’ when fossil fuels still receive trillions in subsidies; UN chief calls on negotiators to pick up the pace

Governments need to show the necessary ambition on mitigation, adaptation, and finance in a balanced way, and they can’t settle for the “lowest common denominator”, the UN Secretary-General has said in Glasgow, where crucial climate negotiations are in the final stretch. Meanwhile, 13 countries launched a new alliance to end gas and oil, and cities were the theme of the day. 

António Guterres told delegates on Thursday that he was inspired by the mobilization of civil society, including young people, indigenous communities, women’s groups, cities and private sector, highlighting that the climate action struggle requires all hands-on deck.

“We know what must be done. Keeping the 1.5 goal within reach means reducing emissions globally by 45 per cent by 2030. But the present set of Nationally Determined Contributions – even if fully implemented – will still increase emissions by 2030,” he reminded participants during a High-Level Event at the plenary.

He then referred to the latest joint analysis by the climate and environment UN agencies, which shows that even with the latest pledges and commitments made at COP26, we remain on track for a catastrophic temperature rise well above 2 degrees Celsius. More