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The UN Secretary-General has urged the Group of Twenty leaders to send a strong message on climate change

NEW DELHI (AP) — U.N. Secretary General António Guterres on Friday called on the group of 20 top economic powers responsible for more than 80% of global warming emissions to use their weekend summit to to send a strong message about climate change.

Guterres said any licensing or financing for new fossil fuel projects should stop and the G20 should “keep the 1.5 degrees target alive,” referring to the 2015 Paris climate agreement, which sets 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) was established as the global guardrail. on atmospheric warming, with countries pledging to try to prevent as much long-term warming as possible.

Earlier this year, the UN weather agency had said there was a two-in-three chance that the world would temporarily reach a major warming limit within the next five years.

July 2023 was the hottest month ever on Earth by a wide margin.

G20 climate ministers ended their last meeting of the year in July without resolving major differences over climate policy.

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“The climate crisis is worsening dramatically – but the collective response lacks ambition, credibility and urgency,” Guterres said at a press conference at the UN offices in New Delhi.

India’s priorities for the G20 summit include efforts to develop alternative fuels such as hydrogen, resource efficiency and reforming development banks such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to make funds more accessible to lower- and middle-income countries seeking solutions to climate change. to fight. change.

Guterres called on major emitters to make additional efforts to reduce emissions and rich countries to meet climate finance commitments already made.

“If we are indeed one global family,” the UN chief said, referring to the Indian theme for the meetings, “we look like a rather dysfunctional family today.”

As leaders gathered for the summit last weekend, Russia’s war against Ukraine threatened to dominate the talks, with dire consequences for food and energy security, along with other global implications.

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Guterres said that given the problems the world is facing, now is the time for countries to work together, saying “we have no time to lose.”

“Divisions are growing, tensions are flaring and trust is eroding – which together raise the specter of fragmentation and ultimately confrontation,” he said.

“This rupture would be deeply worrying at the best of times, but in our times it spells catastrophe.”

On Friday, the United Nations also released a technical report assessing where several countries stand in their efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

The report states that global emissions are not in line with climate targets and that “there is a rapidly closing window to increase ambition and implement existing commitments to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.”

Guterres asked countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development to aim for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 and that emerging economies would achieve the same goal by 2050.

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Energy analysts say it is crucial that G20 leaders act on the UN chief’s suggestions.

“Phasing out fossil fuels will be a crucial, messy and inevitable battle. But it is one that leaders must have. And take it now,” said Madhura Joshi, energy analyst at climate think tank E3G.

Joshi, who has closely followed climate policy discussions at G20 meetings, added: “Amid the raging climate impacts, the world needs G20 leaders to transcend their differences and agree on an ambitious and fair action agenda for this decade.”


The Associated Press’ climate and environmental reporting receives support from several private foundations. View more about AP’s climate initiative here. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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