Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Guterres hails “a day of hope”


CLIMATE CHANGE. The United States officially joined the Paris Climate Agreement on Friday, February 19, which aims to limit global warming.

“It’s a day of hope,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres at an event to mark this comeback organized by the United Nations Association of the United States (UNA-USA).

Hours after being sworn in on January 20, new U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order starting the 30-day process for the United States to return to the Paris Agreement. The United States formally left the agreement late last year, following a decision by former President Donald Trump.

“Today is a day of hope, as the United States officially joins the Paris Agreement. This is good news for the United States – and for the world, ”said the UN chief during a discussion moderated by the President of the United Nations Foundation, Elizabeth Cousens, in which the United States Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, at the Global Engagement Summit organized by UNA-USA.

“The Paris Agreement is a historic achievement. But the commitments made so far are not enough. And even these commitments are not being honored, ”added the Secretary-General, noting that the six years since the signing of the agreement in 2015 have been the hottest six years on record. “If we don’t change course, we could face a catastrophic temperature rise of over 3 degrees Celsius this century,” he added.

For António Guterres, the year 2021 is crucial, with in particular the United Nations Conference on the climate, the COP26, which must be organized in Glasgow (United Kingdom) in November. “Governments will make decisions that will determine the future of people and the planet,” he said.

According to him, the United States, with all the members of the G20, which brings together the 20 main world economic powers, has a decisive role in the achievement of three main objectives.

Three goals for the United Nations

The first goal of the United Nations this year is to create a truly global coalition for net zero emissions by 2050. Over the past year, countries accounting for 70% of the world economy and 65% of global emissions. carbon dioxide are committed to achieving net zero. “I hope that the United States will officially join this coalition very soon, as promised by President Biden, and present their concrete plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050,” Guterres said.

The second objective is to achieve “exponential progress in reducing emissions” of greenhouse gases. “We expect all governments to present more ambitious, concrete and credible nationally determined contributions for the next ten years by COP26 in November,” said the Secretary-General.

The third objective is to seize the opportunity of the exit from the Covid-19 pandemic to rebuild “stronger and better”. “To do this, we must invest in a green economy that will help heal the planet and its people, and create well-paying and stable jobs to ensure more equitable and sustainable prosperity,” he said.

According to António Guterres, we must phase out coal; support a just transition, with training and opportunities for people whose jobs will be affected; stop investing in fossil fuel projects “which are ruining people’s health, destroying biodiversity and contributing to climate catastrophe”; and shifting the tax burden from income to carbon; from consumers to polluters.

The UN chief also deemed it necessary to close the funding gap by supporting countries that are suffering the devastating effects of the climate crisis. He urged all G7 countries (a group of industrialized countries) to deliver concrete results on funding at their June summit. “Those who have not already done so must commit to doubling their climate funding. All developed countries must honor the commitment to pay $ 100 billion a year to developing countries. I also call on all donors to commit to increasing the share of climate finance allocated to adaptation, to reach 50% percent, ”he added, also calling on all financial institutions and banks to align their investments with the Paris Agreement by 2024.

“I am counting on the United States, along with all the other members of the G20, to rally to these three main objectives and to engage in the international negotiations which will be necessary for the success of the COP26”, concluded the Secretary General.

In a statement released Friday, the head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, recalled that the Paris Agreement was “an unprecedented global framework for action.”

“Now, as important as our accession to the Accord in 2016 and as important as our reinstatement today, what we will do in the weeks, months and years to come is even more important,” added the Secretary of State. American state, saying it is impatient to work with the rest of the world to fight climate change.



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