At UN meeting, rich countries urged to meet $100 billion climate pledge


UNITED NATIONS, Sep 20 (APP):U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Monday held a roundtable of world leaders Monday to address major gaps on emissions targets and climate finance, with both officials urging the developed world to meet their pledges to help tackle the adverse impact of climate change, especially in developing countries.

Prime Minister Imran Khan was among the leaders who spoke at the meeting, convened by the UN chief and the UK prime minister, less than six weeks to go before world leaders convene for a major climate summit in Glasgow, Those negotiations are designed to be the next step after the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

On his part, Johnson, the UK premier, called for wealthy countries to meet a pledge to spend $100 billion a year to address climate change.

“Developed countries need to take the lead,” Guterres, the UN chief, told reporters after the closed-door meeting, adding, it is also essential for several emerging economies to go the extra mile and to effectively contribute to emissions reductions.”

Stressing the leadership in this regard from all G20 (rich countries) members, the UN chief pointed out that they represent 80 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions and there was a consensus in today’s meeting that the next G20 meeting will be absolutely essential to guarantee the success of the COP.

“The bottom line is that we need decisive action now around net zero commitments from all countries and the private sector,” Guterres said, pointing to one specific challenge of energy.

Governments, he said, must shift subsidies away from fossil fuels and progressively phase out coal use. “If all planned coal power plants become operational, we will not only be clearly above 1.5 degrees – we will be well above 2 degrees.

“The Paris targets would go up in smoke,” Guterres said, urging OECD nations need to end coal use by 2030, and developing nations need to follow suit by 2040.

“We need coalitions of solidarity – between countries that still depend heavily on coal and countries that have the financial and technical resources to support transitions, because it is essential that no more coal power plants are built.”

“It is a wake-up call to instill a sense of urgency on the dire state of the climate process ahead of COP26,” the un chief said referring to the Glasgow summit.

On Friday, he noted that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change issued a report on the Nationally Determined Contributions, the commitments, of all Parties to the Paris Agreement.

“Based on the present commitments of Member States, the world is on a catastrophic pathway to 2.7-degrees of heating, instead of 1.5 we all agreed should be the limit, ” pointing out that science tells us that anything above 1.5 degrees would be a disaster.

To limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, we need a 45 per cent cut in emissions by 2030 so we can reach carbon neutrality by mid-century,” he said.

Instead, the commitments made until now by countries imply an increase of 16 per cent in greenhouse gas emissions – not a decrease of 45 percent – an increase of 16 percent in greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 compared to 2010 levels, it was pointed out.

“This means that unless we collectively change course, there is a high risk of failure of COP26,” he said, adding, “So, today, I asked leaders to do what is needed to make sure COP26 is a success and that it marks a true turning point.”

“I am fully ready to support Prime Minister Johnson and his team in their constant efforts to bring the world back on track.”

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