UN climate summit aims to boost ambition 5 years after Paris accord

UN climate summit aims to boost ambition 5 years after Paris accord

UN climate summit aims to boost ambition 5 years after Paris accord

On the fifth anniversary of the landmark Paris Agreement, climate is not the subject at the top of the global agenda.

The coronavirus pandemic has subsumed global policymaking this year and forced the postponement of key events, including the UN’s annual international climate meeting.

Britain was slated to host the event, known as COP26, in the Scottish city of Glasgow last month. The summit – seen as one of the last chances to set the world on track to meet the Paris accord – will now take place in the flesh in November 2021.

In its absence, the United Nations, Britain and France will try to keep up the momentum on reducing emissions this year with an online event dubbed “the sprint to Glasgow.”

The Climate Ambition Summit will convene global leaders from government, business and civil society, to “ratchet up ambition for COP26,” the UN said.

It is being held on Saturday, exactly five years after world leaders forged the Paris climate accord, which committed countries to combat climate change and adapt to its effects.

“Even though COP26 has been postponed, we need to act now to fulfil our Paris Agreement commitments,” Alok Sharma, COP26 president and British business secretary, told UN member states in October.

To meet the goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celcius above pre-industrial levels, more needs to be done, and fast.

Countries’ pledges so far under the 2015 accord would mean the world easily overshoots this level. Therefore, nations had promised to submit more ambitious climate protection goals by the end of this year.

Governments at Saturday’s event are expected to come forward with several key plans: pathways to net zero emissions; finance plans to support countries most vulnerable to climate impacts; and policies to attain the 1.5-degree goal.

“There will be no space for general statements. Announcements must show genuine progress from existing policies and Paris targets,” Sharma said.

The summit comes as the world deals with the pandemic, but experts and officials are saying that climate science is as urgent as ever.

Countries are planning to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with the temperature limit, the UN said in a report last week.

Another major UN report found that the year 2020 is on track to be one of the three warmest on record, as the global average temperature is already about 1.2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said humanity is waging a “suicidal” war on nature and called tackling climate change the “defining task of the 21st century” in a speech last week.

Greenhouse gas concentrations levels are at record highs, while extreme climate events are increasingly frequent, he said.

“Covid and climate have brought us to a threshold,” Guterres said, adding that the recovery from the pandemic marks an opportunity for humanity to avert climate cataclysm.

The UN chief welcomed a recent spate of commitments by leading economies: Britain, China, the European Union and South Korea have committed to achieving net zero emissions over the next few decades.

Notably, the incoming administration in the United States – one of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters – has also pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

US President-elect Joe Biden’s vow to do so, as well as to rejoin the Paris Agreement, from which outgoing President Donald Trump withdrew, has raised hopes that the accord’s goals could be within reach and that the US will take a leading role.

READ ALSO: Fayemi deploys more security agents to comb criminal hideouts

“The recent commitments to net-zero emissions targets have put wind in the sails for greater ambition – now countries must make sure that their national commitments for 2030 put them on track to meet their long-term goals and seize the economic benefits from strong climate action,” David Waskow, director of the international climate initiative for the nonprofit World Resources Institute (WRI), told dpa.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week stormed ahead with his plans to cut the country’s carbon emissions to net zero by mid-century, which build on his previously unveiled 10-point plan to combat climate change.

Johnson said he wanted to kick-start the drive to make Britain greener by cutting at least 68 per cent of greenhouse gases as compared to 1990 levels by 2030.

The WRI’s Waskow said Britain’s announcement on its enhanced 2030 target “sets a benchmark for others,” who should “come to the summit and match their long-term vision with near-term action.”


Vanguard News Nigeria

The post UN climate summit aims to boost ambition 5 years after Paris accord appeared first on Vanguard News.

Post a Comment


Teemikemedia TV
NAIJAMEDIALOG Subscribe to our YouTube Channel