COP26 outcome a compromise: UN chief Antonio Guterres on Glasgow climate agreement

“The outcome of COP26 is a compromise. It reflects the interests, the contradictions and the state of political will in the world today. It is an important step, but it is not enough,” Antonio Guterres said. 
UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres speaks at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.(AP)
UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres speaks at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.(AP)
Published on Nov 14, 2021 09:49 AM IST
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Written by Srivatsan K C | Edited by Sohini Goswami, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres on Sunday (IST) said the outcome of the COP-26 climate conference in Glasgow was a compromise and called for action towards keeping global temperature rise within 1.5 degrees Celsius. He also called upon member nations to phase out the usage of coal and protect vulnerable communities from the impacts of climate change.

“The outcome of COP26 is a compromise. It reflects the interests, the contradictions and the state of political will in the world today. It is an important step, but it is not enough. We must accelerate climate action, to keep alive the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees,” Guterres said after nations signed a deal in this regard.

“Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread. We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe. It is time to go into emergency mode. We must end fossil fuel subsidies. Phase out coal. Put a price on carbon. Protect vulnerable communities from the impacts of climate change. And make good on the 100 billion USD climate finance commitment to support developing countries,” he added.

Also read | What's in the Glasgow Climate Pact?

He also welcomed the commitments made by member nations at the conference to end deforestation, reduce methane emissions and mobilising private finance around net zero emissions and called them “building blocks for progress”. He said the Glasgow agreement reaffirms commitment towards keeping global temperature rise within 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Guterres said that while science stressed “rapid, deep and sustained” reduction in emissions as the goal in this decade, particularly a 45% cut in emissions by 2030 from the 2010 levels, the full implementation of the climate goals determined by the nations would still result in an increase in emissions.

He said it would lead to global temperature rise going “well above” 2 degree Celsius by the end of the century.

In his message to young people and those leading efforts on climate action, he assured of his support to such work. “I want to send a message to young people, indigenous communities, women leaders, all those leading on climate action. I know you are disappointed,” he said. “We are in the fight of our lives and this fight must be won. Never give up. Never retreat. Keep pushing forward. I am with you,” he added.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022