UN Secretary-General António Guterres today urged the European Union to cut CO2 emissions by 55% or more by 2030.
In remarks on climate action to the European Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Guterres said:
“It is essential that the European Union commits to reducing emissions by at least 55% by 2030 in its new Nationally Determined Contribution.”
The UN Secretary-General stated, in videotaped remarks, that while he applauded the European Union’s climate achievements, “we are still running behind in the race against time.”
“Every country, city, financial institution and company should adopt plans for transitioning to net-zero emissions by 2050,” Mr. Guterres said.
“We need to see these plans well in advance of COP26 — in particular the Nationally Determined Contributions required under the Paris Agreement and the long-term strategies we need to become carbon neutral.”
The Secretary-General commended the European Union for having led on net-zero emissions in the G20. The G20 countries are meeting in a virtual summit on 21-22 November.
“The G20 countries – which are responsible for more than 80% of climate pollution – must show the way.”
In December the Secretary-General co-hosts a Climate Ambition Summit with the governments of the United Kingdom and France on the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement.
“As we head towards the Climate Ambition Summit on 12 December and COP26 in November next year, the world will once again be looking to the European Union for climate leadership,” Mr. Guterres said.
He also urged the EU to phase out “existing coal”.
“There must be no new coal, and all existing coal in the European Union should be phased out by 2030 in OECD countries, and by 2040 elsewhere. Furthermore, I ask the European Union to stop the financing of fossil fuels internationally and to promote a shift in taxation from income to carbon,” the Secretary-General added.
The Secretary-General’s “virtual” keynote speech at the European Council on Foreign Relations was followed by a high-level panel discussion. Among the participants were Ann Linde, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sweden, Michał Kurtyka, Minister of Climate and Environment, Poland, Barbara Pompili, Minister of Ecological Transition, France and Andreas Feicht, State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Germany.