UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres remotely addresses the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate at UN Headquarters in New York, on Sept. 17, 2021. (Manuel Elias/UN Photo/Handout via Xinhua)
"Developed nations need to implement their promise to mobilize 100 billion dollars a year for climate action in the developing world from 2021 to 2025," United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.
UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday urged rich countries to deliver the promised 100 billion U.S. dollars a year for climate action in developing countries.
The top UN official told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York following the closing of the Informal Leaders Roundtable on Climate Action that the international community needs to deliver on three fronts including the rich states delivering "the promised 100 billion dollars a year for climate action in developing countries" on the way to the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, which will take place from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12 in Glasgow of Britain.
"Today, I asked leaders to do what is needed to make sure COP26 is a success and that it marks a true turning point," said the secretary-general.
"Developed nations need to implement their promise to mobilize 100 billion dollars a year for climate action in the developing world from 2021 to 2025," Guterres further elaborated.
"We failed in 2019 and 2020. OECD (the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) calculations say we are about 20 billion dollars short," he added.
"Failure to fulfil this pledge would be a major source of the erosion of trust between developed and developing countries. Developed nations need to bridge this gap," the secretary-general noted.
On the current climate change situation, the UN chief said that "to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, we need a 45 percent cut in emissions by 2030 so we can reach carbon neutrality by mid-century."
"Instead, the commitments made until now by countries imply an increase of 16 percent 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," he warned.
People take part in a climate change protest in Times Square in New York, the United States, on Sept. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
Guterres said that "the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that the 1.5-degree goal is still in reach. But we need a dramatic improvement in Nationally Determined Contributions from most countries."
On energy, the secretary-general said that "governments 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," said the UN chief.
Guterres and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday held the closed-door Informal Climate Leaders Roundtable on Climate Action with a small but representative group of heads of state and government, on the sidelines of the General Assembly.
The roundtable follows the recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, signaling a "code red for humanity," and comes less than six weeks before the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.
The roundtable addresses the gaps that remain on the actions urgently needed from national governments -- especially the G20 -- on mitigation, finance and adaptation. ■