United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday issued a harsh criticism of the world’s failure to curb global warming, calling on countries to come back every year to review their climate targets, not every five years, as is stated. detailed in the Paris climate agreement. .
“Even if the recent promises were clear and credible, and there are serious doubts about some of them, we are still heading towards climate catastrophe,” he said at the opening ceremony of COP26, the UN climate summit in Glasgow.
“Our planet is speaking to us,” Guterres said. “We must listen and we must act.”
He was referring to analyzes that have found that even if all countries meet their national targets for slow down emissions, the global average temperature is projected to rise 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of this century compared to pre-industrial times. That would put the world on a more intense path. hot, fires and floods.
Scientists have concluded that the best way to avoid the worst consequences of climate change is to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Guterres’ call for annual reviews is being driven by a group of countries that are most vulnerable to climate change, but is expected to face strong pushback from many countries who will argue that it moves the goals of the 2015 Paris agreement.
Guterres said these annual reviews need to be done until the world as a whole can hit the 1.5-degree target. And he also raised the bar with specific demands, including an end to fossil fuel subsidies, the price of carbon dioxide emissions, and the phasing out of coal.
There is no agreement among the world’s leading polluters on any of that. Even as recently as Sunday, the leaders of the Group of 20 rich nations, which produce 80 percent of the world’s emissions, led by the United States, China and countries of the European Union. emerged from a summit in Rome with a deal just to end foreign financing of coal.