UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday in his latest push for a cleaner and greener future that the world is still far below the target of committing to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
The UN chief made the statement in a video message for the opening of the Race to Zero Dialogues, part of a global campaign mobilizing companies, cities, regions and investors to support net zero carbon emissions, online with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. .
Guterres reported that so far, the European Union, Japan and the Republic of Korea, along with more than 110 other countries, have made the pledge, while China will join them in 2060.
“That means that 50 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and half of global CO2 emissions are now covered by a net zero commitment. And the number of companies’ net zero commitments has more than doubled in the last year to more than 1,100. However, we are still far from where we should be, ”he said.
“Our goal is to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Today, we are still heading toward at least three degrees. “
The Race To Zero dialogues are part of the run-up to the anniversary of the Paris Agreement on December 12, and the Climate Ambition Summit to be held on that day.
The virtual meeting began on Monday, which would have marked the start of the last UN conference on climate change, known as COP26, which had to be rescheduled for next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The postponement highlights the disruption that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused. And these dialogues highlight that climate action is more urgent than ever as we work to recover from the effects of the pandemic, ”commented the Secretary General.
A UN statement said the Race To Zero Dialogues will take place online and in multiple time zones over the next 10 days, with more than 100 virtual events scheduled.
Sessions are organized under different daily themes, covering key sectors, including transportation, health, energy, industry, oceans, and water and food systems.
The Secretary General appealed to the participants, stressing the need for ambition and action.
“I urge you and the members of the different coalitions that you are a part of to promote, develop and implement credible decarbonization plans,” he said.
“Bring your supply chain and partners on board in time for the Climate Ambition Summit that I am a co-sponsor on December 12, the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement.”
The UN chief praised the talks for being an example of the collaboration needed to address climate change, stating that “we are moving in the right direction, but we need more speed.”
However, he warned that “the window of opportunity is closing.”
Mr. Guterres emphasized that all governments, cities, financial institutions and the private sector must establish transition plans for net zero emissions.
“We need everyone to commit to carbon neutrality by 2050 and take climate action that benefits people and the planet,” he said. (PANA / NAN)