Zero emission by ’50 taking shape – UN

NEW YORK: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday (Saturday in Manila) that a global coalition for net zero emissions by 2050 is taking shape, while calling for more action on the climatic front.

“A great and growing global coalition for net zero emissions by 2050 is taking shape,” the UN chief told reporters at a hybrid press conference held at the UN headquarters in New York. Guterres will meet with G20 leaders online over the weekend.

“By early next year, countries representing more than 65 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions — and more than 70 percent of the world economy — are very likely to have made ambitious commitments to carbon neutrality,” he said.

“These commitments are sending a clear signal to markets, institutional investors and decision-makers,” added the secretary-general. The UN chief asked the developed countries to fulfill their climate finance commitments.

“G20 countries must take decisive action in the boards of multilateral, regional and national development banks, to urge them to collaborate, provide substantial concessional climate finance to developing countries, including for adaptation and resilience, and rethink their mobilization potential to unlock the trillions held by institutional investors,” he said.

“Adaptation to present and future climate impacts — particularly for least developed countries and small island developing states — cannot be the forgotten component of climate action,” Guterres said.

Talking about the “troubling signs,” the secretary-general said that as of September, the rescue packages of G20 countries have committed 50 percent more in funding in support of fossil fuels than on low-carbon energy.

“It is madness to borrow money to heat up a planet living on borrowed time,” the UN chief stressed.

Therefore, he called on G20 countries to put a price on carbon, end fossil fuel subsidies, stop construction of new coal power plants, ensure mandatory financial reporting on exposure to climate risks and integrate the goal of carbon neutrality into all economic and fiscal policies and decisions.

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