UN chief warns against ‘sleepwalking to climate catastrophe’

Fossil fuel power plants are one of the largest emitters of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change (Photo via UN)

(United Nations News) The goal to limit future warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, highlighted in the Paris Agreement on climate change, and driven home in last November’s COP26, gathering in Glasgow, is now on “life support” and “in intensive care,” the UN chief told the Economist Sustainability Summit on Monday.   

Speaking via video link, Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted some of the progress made at COP 26 last year but pointing to “the enormous emissions gap” conceded that “the main problem was not solved – it was not even properly addressed.”  

Keeping 1.5 alive requires a 45 per cent reduction in global emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by mid-century”, he said, highlighting how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatened to become a huge setback for the concerted effort to speed up climate action.  

According to current national commitments however, global emissions are set to increase by almost 14 per cent during the rest of the decade.  

Last year alone, global energy-related CO2 emissions grew by six per cent “to their highest levels in history,” Mr. Guterres said, as coal emissions surged “to record highs.” 

Read more at: United Nations News

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