Polluters must join 'net zero' club for climate: UN Chief
Polluters must step up their commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions ahead of a crucial climate summit in November, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday. Guterres said, "The global body's objective this year is to get countries and companies responsible for 90 percent of the world's man-made emissions to set credible deadlines by when they will stop adding planet-heating gases to the atmosphere."
Several countries have announced plans to achieve net-zero emissions
Several countries including the United States, China, and members of the European Union have already announced plans to achieve net-zero emissions, meaning they will only release as much carbon dioxide and other gases as can be absorbed by natural or technological means.
'Drive to net-zero must become the new normal for everyone'
"The drive to net-zero must become the new normal for everyone, everywhere, for every country, company, city, financial institution, as well as the key sectors like aviation, shipping, industry, and agriculture," Guterres told diplomats during a virtual gathering. "At the same time, all commitments to net zero must be underpinned by clear and credible plans to achieve them. Words are not enough," he said.
Industrialized countries urged to phase out coal use by 2030
But scientists say some of the targets are too far off and aren't backed by clear plans that would ensure that the Paris climate accord's goal of capping global warming at 1.5 degree Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) can be achieved. Guterres again urged major industrialized countries to phase out their use of coal, a big source of carbon emissions, by 2030.
Need to finalize rules for international carbon markets in Glasgow
Guterres also urged major industrialized coUNtries to ensure that poor countries get the $100 billion in funding they need each year to respond to climate change. Guterres said, "The UN climate summit in Glasgow this fall, delayed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, needs to finalize rules for international carbon markets that economists say would give companies greater incentives to cut emissions."
Offices, venues to be made available for virtual meetings
"The global body will make offices and venues around the world available to governments so officials can take part in virtual meetings ahead of the November summit since the usual flurry of preparatory events likely won't happen in-person because of COVID-19," the UN Chief said.Share this timeline