UN Secretary-General: Encouraging signs in Glasgow but not enough

Photo: Miranda Alexander-Webber/UNRIC

The UN Secretary-General says that announcements on climate action at COP26 have been encouraging but are “far from enough.”

“The emissions gap remains a devastating threat. The finance and adaptation gap represent a glaring injustice for the developing world. We need even more ambition in future revised Nationally Determined Contributions,” Mr.Guterres told a High-level event on Global Climate Action at COP26, the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow.

Photo: Miranda Alexander-Webber

The Secretary-General said that he is inspired by the mobilization of civil society, the pressure from young people, the dynamism of indigenous communities and women´s groups.

He commended the climate actions of cities around the world and the growing climate consciousness of the private sector.

Emissions still increasing by 2030

“Governments need to pick up the pace and show the necessary ambition on mitigation, adaptation and finance in a balanced way,” Mr. Guterres said. ”But the present set of Nationally Determined Contributions — even if fully implemented — will still increase emissions by 2030.”

Furthermore, the Secretary-General welcomed yesterday’s US-China cooperation agreement, “an important step in the right direction.”

“Every country, every city, every company, every financial institution must radically, credibly and verifiably reduce their emissions and decarbonize their portfolios starting now.”

Big steps

According to the Secretary-General important steps have already been taken at COP26.

They include:

  • The commitment of a number of countries to work collectively to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030.
  • More than 1,000 cities around the world have committed to reach net zero by 2050 or earlier.
  • The Net-Zero Asset Owners Alliance, which manages US $10 trillion in assets and catalyzing change across industries.
  • The G20 — including the three largest public financiers – have committed to ending overseas coal finance.
  • And 44 countries and 32 companies and regions have committed at COP26 to transition from coal to clean power.

“We have a critical mass of global commitments to net-zero, from both governments and non-state actors,” Mr. Guterres said. “We need to hold each other accountable — governments, non-state actors and civil society. Only together can we keep 1.5 degrees within reach and the equitable and resilient world we need.”

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