1.5 degree climate promise ‘alive’, Guterres tells leaders in candid talks |
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the UN chief said he spoke to leaders about the climate emergency and the “global triple crisis” of food, energy and finance.
Mr Guterres told the gathered leaders that the devastation he witnessed this month in Pakistan, where floods covered around a third of the country at its peak, occurred with a global warming of 1.2 degrees ; the world is currently on track for an overall increase of more than three degrees.
The meeting was announced in advance as a “frank and informal exchange of views” between the leaders, co-chaired by Mr Guterres and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, and an opportunity to address key issues ahead of the conference of United Nations on Climate Change COP27, is due to be held in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh in November.
“Fossil fuels are killing us”
Since last year’s conference in Glasgow, Scotland, climate impacts have worsened and carbon emissions have reached record levels, hitting vulnerable communities the hardest.
Four burning issues were addressed during the informal talks: emissions mitigation, climate finance, adaptation and loss and damage.
On mitigation, Guterres told leaders that while emissions are to be cut by almost half before 2030, they are on track to increase by 14%. He called on representatives of the world’s major economies – the G20 countries – to phase out coal, increase investment in renewable energy and end their “dependence on fossil fuels”.
“The fossil fuel industry is killing us,” he said, “and leaders are out of step with their people, who are demanding urgent climate action.”
UN News/Conor Lennon
Under the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, developing countries were promised $100 billion a year to fund initiatives to help them deal with the effects of global warming.
To date, this objective has not been achieved. The UN chief said financial commitments to the developing world must be honored immediately and in full.
“I stressed the need to double support for adaptation to $40 billion per year by 2025,” Mr. Guterres continued. “Climate destruction is happening. People are suffering now”.
Looking ahead to COP27, the Secretary-General expressed hope that the event will advance these discussions, as a matter of climate justice, international solidarity and trust.
Cooperate to lower prices
A summit of G20 heads of state and government will be held in Bali in November, during the final days of COP27, and Guterres has urged leaders to take important decisions to tackle the food ‘triple crisis’ , energy and finance.
He urged international cooperation and solidarity to bring down prices which have soared since the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, increase support for developing countries and prevent a deeper crisis this year. next.
International financial institutions must also step up and provide debt relief to developing countries, Guterres said, and new mechanisms to channel resources to countries in need must be strengthened and expanded.