United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered a stark warning at the UN Climate Ambition Summit, emphasizing the urgent need for global climate action. Major emitters, including the United States, China, and India, notably abstained from the summit held in New York.
Guterres addressed the gathering, emphasizing the gravity of the climate crisis: “Our focus here is on climate solutions and our task is urgent. Humanity has opened the gates to hell.” He described the devastating impacts of rising temperatures, such as extreme weather events, crop loss due to floods, the spread of diseases in sweltering conditions, and unprecedented wildfires.
The absence of significant leaders from major polluting nations like the US, China, and India raised questions about the summit’s effectiveness. A list of 41 speakers for the morning session did not include representatives from these nations.
Guterres had set high expectations for participating countries, urging them to commit to stopping the expansion of oil and gas production and planning a phase-out of existing production to align with the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit set by the Paris Agreement.
To accelerate climate action, Guterres convened the Climate Ambition Summit, aiming to bring together governments, businesses, finance institutions, local authorities, and civil society. The summit sought commitments on updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs), net-zero targets, energy transition plans, fossil fuel phase-out strategies, renewable energy goals, and contributions to the green climate fund.
A chair’s summary on the updated goals will be released at the conclusion of the summit.
Despite the grim outlook, Guterres expressed hope that it is still possible to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. He urged world leaders to take swift action, particularly in transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. He highlighted the urgency by calling for governments to reach net-zero emissions by 2040 for developed countries and as close as possible to 2050 for emerging economies.
Guterres emphasized that ending fossil fuel subsidies and setting ambitious renewable energy goals aligned with the 1.5-degree limit are crucial steps in achieving these targets.
While some nations have taken substantial steps to address climate change, the absence of key players at the summit underscores the challenges in achieving global cooperation on this critical issue. As the world approaches the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai, the need for unified action to combat climate change remains pressing.
The summit featured speakers from countries including the European Union, Germany, France, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, South Africa, the Marshall Islands, and Kenya. COP 28 President Sultan Al Jaber also attended the event. Non-governmental institutions represented at the summit included the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the State of California, and the company Allianz.
India, despite missing the summit, has updated its nationally determined contribution (NDC) and submitted a long-term climate action strategy articulating its vision and action plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070, signaling its commitment to addressing the climate crisis.
The 2023 UN Climate Change Conference is scheduled to take place from November 30 to December 12, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). This conference will play a crucial role in advancing global efforts to combat climate change.
Sources By Agencies