Tag Archives: climate

UN chief highlights crucial role of G20 in resolving global crises

With the global population now at eight billion and growing, action or inaction by the world’s largest economies, the G20, will be critical to determine if everyone gets to live on a peaceful and healthy planet, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said at a press conference in Bali, Indonesia, on Monday. 

Speaking on the eve of the G20 Summit there, the UN chief appealed for the bloc to support his initiatives to address climate change, sustainable development, the worldwide food and energy crises, and digital transformation.

The Summit is taking place at “the most pivotal, precarious moment in generations”, he told journalists. More

Egypt prepares for flagship UN climate conference, in a year of unprecedented global weather shocks

Regional authorities in Egypt, the host country of the 2022 UN climate conference (COP27), are ramping up initiatives designed to improve the country’s environmental credentials, and speed up its transition to a low carbon economy. The event will begin on 4 November, in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh.

Several COP27-related initiatives are underway in Egypt: they include projects related to sustainable transport, waste recycling, women’s health, the transition to clean energy, sustainable cities, adaptation measures in the water and agriculture sector, and the links between peace and climate.

In preparation for the Climate Summit, the regional authorities in the Red Sea Governorate, in cooperation with a number of other state organizations, is holding a series of events aimed at raising awareness of environmental and sustainability concerns. These workshops will continue through to November, and the opening of the Conference. More

Conference opens to draft first-ever treaty on ocean’s biological diversity

The intergovernmental conference to draft the first-ever treaty on the ocean’s biological diversity opened its fifth and likely final session on Monday.

Amidst calls for flexibility, openness and the spirit of compromise that prevailed in 1982, when the landmark “constitution for the oceans” was adopted, the new treaty will aim to address the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas of the ocean which are beyond the limits of States’ maritime zones.

The session, which runs until 26 August, was convened following a decision taken by the General Assembly in May and is expected to be the final in a series set in motion since 2018 to draft an international legally binding instrument under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. More

UN chief warns against ‘sleepwalking to climate catastrophe’

The goal to limit future warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, highlighted in the Paris Agreement on climate change, and driven home in last November’s COP26, gathering in Glasgow, is now on “life support” and “in intensive care,” the UN chief told the Economist Sustainability Summit on Monday. 

Speaking via video link, Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted some of the progress made at COP 26 last year but pointing to “the enormous emissions gap” conceded that “the main problem was not solved – it was not even properly addressed.”

Keeping 1.5 alive requires a 45 per cent reduction in global emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by mid-century”, he said, highlighting how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatened to become a huge setback for the concerted effort to speed up climate action.

Instead of “hitting the brakes” on decarbonizing the global economy, the Secretary-General urged everyone to “put the pedal to the metal towards a renewable energy future.”  More

Secretary-General’s remarks to Petersberg Climate Dialogue

COVID-19 has put the lives of billions of people around the globe in turmoil, inflicting grave suffering and destabilizing the global economy.

It has exposed the fragility of our societies and economies to shocks, and it has laid bare deep inequalities that threaten the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The only answer is brave, visionary and collaborative leadership.

The same leadership is needed to address the looming existential threat of climate disruption.

Last year was the second-hottest year on record, part of the hottest decade in recorded history.

Delayed climate action will cost us vastly more each year in terms of lost lives and livelihoods, crippled businesses and damaged economies.

The highest cost is the cost of doing nothing.

We must urgently put in place measures to strengthen resilience and cut greenhouse gas emissions to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.

Technology is on our side.

So, increasingly, is public opinion, especially the voice of young people.

Many cities and businesses are taking action.

But we still lack the necessary political will in many parts of the world.

That is why I continue to advocate for significantly more ambition on mitigation, adaptation and financing.

 

On mitigation, we need all countries to commit to carbon neutrality by 2050.

On adaptation, we need to support those countries least responsible for climate change, but most vulnerable to its impacts.

They need to build resilience to protect their populations.

And for that we need adequate financing, beginning with the promised mobilization of $100 billion US dollars a year for mitigation and adaptation efforts in developing countries.

As we plan our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, we have a profound opportunity to steer our world on a more sustainable and inclusive path – a path that tackles climate change, protects the environment, reverses biodiversity loss and ensures the long-term health and security of humankind.

By making the transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient growth, we can create a world that is clean, green, safe, just and more prosperous for all.

I am proposing six climate-related actions to shape the recovery.

First: As we spend trillions to recover from Covid-19, we must deliver new jobs and businesses through a clean, green and just transition.

Investments must accelerate the decarbonization of all aspects of our economy.

Second: where taxpayers’ money is needed to rescue businesses, it must be creating green jobs and sustainable and inclusive growth.

It must not be bailing out outdated, polluting, carbon-intensive industries.

Third: Fiscal firepower must shift economies from grey to green, making societies and people more resilient through a transition that is fair to all and leaves no one behind.

Fourth: Looking forward, public funds should invest in the future, by flowing to sustainable sectors and projects that help the environment and climate.

Fossil fuel subsidies must end, and carbon must have a price and polluters must pay for their pollution.

Fifth: The global financial system, when it shapes policy and infrastructure, must take risks and opportunities related to climate into account.

Investors cannot continue to ignore the price our planet pays for unsustainable growth.

Sixth: To resolve both emergencies, we must work together as an international community.

Like the coronavirus, greenhouse gases respect no boundaries.

Isolation is a trap. No country can succeed alone.

 

We already have a common framework for action – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

To that end, I am asking all countries to prepare enhanced national climate action plans, or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and strategies to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

There are some signs of important progress.

Some countries, including Chile, the current COP President, have already submitted enhanced NDCs, and a further 114 countries have announced they will do so.

121 countries have committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

I encourage the European Union to continue showing global leadership by presenting, by the end of the year, a Nationally Determined Contribution in line with its commitment to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050.

And I congratulate Chancellor Angela Merkel, for her leadership and determination.

And I am sure the incoming COP President, the UK, will present an ambitious, quality NDC in line with his nation’s strategy to get to carbon neutrality by 2050.

 

Just last week, the smallest and most vulnerable members of our international family, the small island nations, re-committed to climate ambition, even in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.

Their leadership should serve as an inspiration to all.

We cannot allow the heavy and rising debt burden of these and other developing countries to serve as a barrier to their ambition.

But the key to tackling the climate crisis is the big emitters.

Let us not forget that the G20 countries collectively account for more than 80 per cent of global emissions and over 85 per cent of the global economy.

All of them must also commit to carbon neutrality by 2050.

 

The Paris Agreement was largely made possible by the engagement of the United States and China.

Without the contribution of the big emitters, all our efforts risk to be doomed.

They say it’s darkest just before the dawn.

These are dark days, but they are not without hope.

We have a rare and short window of opportunity to rebuild our world for the better.

Let us use the pandemic recovery to provide a foundation for a safe, healthy, inclusive and more resilient world for all people.

Thank you.

New York

28 April 2020

 

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