UN Secretary-General Urges World Leaders to ‘Do More’ on Climate Change

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Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “UN Secretary-General Urges World Leaders to ‘Do More’ on Climate Change” – below is their description.

Pressure keeps building on increasingly anxious world leaders to ratchet up efforts to fight climate change. There’s more of it coming this week in one of the highest-profile forums of all — the United Nations.

For the second time in four days, this time out of U.N. headquarters in New York, leaders will hear pleas to make deeper cuts of emissions of heat-trapping gases and give poorer countries more money to develop cleaner energy and adapt to the worsening impacts of climate change.

“We are on the verge of the abyss and we cannot afford a step in the wrong direction,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told The Associated Press Saturday.

On Monday, Guterres and United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosted a closed-door session with 35 to 40 world leaders to get countries to do more leading up to the huge climate negotiations in Scotland in six weeks. Those negotiations in the fall are designed to be the next step after the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

“I convened this meeting with Prime Minister Johnson for a very simple reason: it is a wake-up call to instill a sense of urgency on the dire state of the climate process ahead of COP 26,” Guterres told reporter after the meeting.

“To limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, we need the 45% cut in emissions by 2030 so we can reach carbon-neutrality by midcentury. Instead, the commitments made until now by countries imply an increase of 16% in greenhouse gas emissions – not a decrease of 45% – an increase of 16% in greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 compared to 2010 levels. And this means that unless we collectively change course, there is a high risk of failure of COP 26,” he said.

This week’s focus on climate change comes at the end of another summer of disasters related to extreme weather, including devastating wildfires in the western United States, deadly flooding in the U.S., China and Europe, a drumbeat of killer tropical cyclones worldwide and unprecedented heat waves everywhere.

Achieving some kind of success in emission-cut pledges or financial help during the week of U.N. sessions would ease the path to an agreement in Glasgow, just as early announcements of pollution curbs did in 2015, especially those from China and the United States, experts said.

“I understand the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. Developed countries need to take the lead, but it is also essential for several emerging economies to go the extra mile and to effectively contribute to emissions reductions,” Guterres said Monday.

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