Tag Archives: #ClimateAction

UN General Assembly declares access to clean and healthy environment a universal human right

With 161 votes in favour, and eight abstentions*, the UN General Assembly adopted a historic resolution on Thursday, declaring access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, a universal human right.

The resolution, based on a similar text adopted last year by the Human Rights Council, calls upon States, international organisations, and business enterprises to scale up efforts to ensure a healthy environment for all.

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, welcomed the ‘historic’ decision and said the landmark development demonstrates that Member States can come together in the collective fight against the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

“The resolution will help reduce environmental injustices, close protection gaps and empower people, especially those that are in vulnerable situations, including environmental human rights defenders, children, youth, women and indigenous peoples”, he said in a statement released by his Spokesperson’s Office. More

UN chief welcomes China-US pledge to cooperate on climate action

Wednesday’s announcement that China and the United States have agreed to collaborate more closely on climate action was hailed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres as an important step in the right direction.

News of the joint declaration between the two countries, both major emitters of greenhouse gases, came late in the evening in Glasgow, where the 2021 UN climate conference, COP26, has been under way since last week.

The statement refers to the recently released report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which described the urgent need to tackle the climate emergency in alarming detail, and states that both countries recognize the seriousness of the crisis, whilst accepting the significant gaps that remain, between efforts currently being made to tackle it, and the steps that are needed to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, reached at COP21 in 2015.

In his tweet, António Guterres welcomed the agreement by China and the US to work together to take more ambitious climate action in this decade, and noted that the crisis requires international collaboration and solidarity. More

In breach of diplomatic protocol; ‘don’t choose extinction’ dinosaur urges world leaders

In a UN first, a ferocious and talkative dinosaur bursts into the iconic General Assembly Hall at UN Headquarters in New York, with a special warning for any diplomats who still think climate action is for the birds.

This isn’t a slice of real life of course, rather the key computer-generated scene from a new short film launched this Tuesday by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), as the centerpiece of the agency’s ‘Don’t Choose Extinction’ campaign.

The dinosaur then tells the audience of bewildered diplomats that “it’s time humans stopped making excuses and started making changes” to address the climate crisis.

UNDP research released as part of the campaign shows that the world spends $423 billion annually just to subsidize fossil fuels, enough to cover a COVID-19 vaccination for every person in the world or three times the annual amount needed to eradicate global extreme poverty. More

Climate action: ‘Time is running out’, UN chief tells ministers

With just one month left until the COP26 climate change conference, countries must do more to reduce emissions, finance climate action and support mitigation, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the final official ministerial meeting in Milan, Italy, on Thursday.

“I cannot emphasize enough that time is running out. Irreversible climate tipping points lie alarmingly close. Civil society is watching closely and is running out of patience,” he said in remarks delivered virtually.

The UN chief urged Governments to step up efforts to achieve the Paris Agreement, which seeks to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

“Young people, in particular, continue to lead the growing calls for more ambition. They will hold us accountable. Climate justice demands that we bequeath them a livable planet,” he said.

Countries must take the long view, and the moral high ground, said the UN chief “so that this and future generations can look forward to peace, opportunity and dignity for all on a healthy planet.” More

World’s two largest economies commit to climate action – Guterres

UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed important commitments made towards climate action by the world’s two largest economies, as the 76th High Level Debate began in New York.

He hailed United States’ President Jose Biden’s announcement that the US would significantly increase its international climate finance to approximately $11.4 billion a year. “This increased contribution from the United States will bring developed countries closer to meeting their collective commitment to mobilize $100 billion a year in climate finance”, said the UN chief, in a statement.

Mr. Guterres also welcomes the announcement made by President Xi Jinping that China would end all financing of coal fired power plants abroad and redirect its support to green and low carbon energy.

Accelerating the global phase out of coal is the single most important step to keep the 1.5-degree goal of the Paris Agreement within reach”, he underscored. More