UN chief urges leaders to inject momentum at 2019 climate summit
The UN secretary-general on Tuesday urged world leaders to use a climate change summit he will host in 2019 to explain how they plan to ratchet up their efforts to reverse worsening global warming that is leading to a “very dramatic situation”.
Antonio Guterres said the gathering at the United Nations in New York in September would be an “essential piece” in raising ambition to cut heat-trapping emissions, and helping countries cope better with wilder weather and rising seas.
The summit also will seek to raise more funding to ensure wealthy governments keep a 2020 promise to deliver $100 billion annually to help poor countries develop cleanly and adapt to a hotter planet, the UN chief added.
“We all know the massive scale of the climate challenge we face,” he told reporters at climate talks in Poland. “And we all know we are not on track.”
In 2020, countries are due to submit to the United Nations updated national climate action plans that are the lynchpin of the Paris Agreement adopted in 2015.
Under that accord, nearly 200 governments have committed to limit the rise in global temperatures to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times.
There has already been an increase of about 1 degree C, and current pledges to reduce emissions are still likely to lead to warming of about 3 degrees C this century, scientists have said.
In the coming year, UN agencies will work with governments to strengthen their climate action plans covering the decade to 2030, as well as their long-term strategies, Guterres said.