U.S. must halve emissions to galvanize global climate action – UN chief
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres expects the United States to commit this week to halving its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, a gesture that he believes would spur similar commitment by the world’s other major emitters.
On April 22-23, the United States, the world’s largest economy and the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China, will hold a virtual climate change summit. Washington also encouraged global leaders to use the case to commit to more aggressive carbon reductions.
Guterres said that the White House’s pledge would set a high standard.
“My hope is that the United States will be able to present a cut in pollution for 2030 that is greater than 50% of 2010 levels,” Guterres told Reuters in an interview.
“If it does, I have no doubt that it would have rather significant implications in relation to Japan, China, Russia, and other areas of the world that have not yet completely established these levels,” he added.
The White House is generally anticipated to announce a commitment of reducing pollution by at least half by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. According to the Rhodium Community, this will equate to a 47 percent decline by 2030 as compared to 2010 levels.
With climate change already escalating heat waves, strengthening storms, and intensifying wildfires, Guterres named this week’s summit a “make or break” moment for climate action.
According to scientists, global pollution would fall this decade and hit net zero by 2050 in order to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels to avoid cataclysmic climate impacts.
“The worse chance is if we don’t hit 1.5 degrees as a cap, that we go above it, and that we precipitate a disastrous scenario,” he said, asking all big emitters to establish goals for dramatic carbon reductions this decade.
Given the critical nature of the climate problem, Guterres expressed hope that the next global UN climate conference, known as COP26, will be held in person in November in Glasgow.
According to him, the UN and this year’s British hosts are debating ways to ensure that attendees will be vaccinated and join the conference in person.
“I recommend to all those with the ability to do so to establish the vaccine requirements that would make for a healthy COP in Glasgow, with the physical participation of all those that need to be there,” Guterres said.
The UN climate conference has already been postponed by a year owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Britain is facing concerns about how the case, which was supposed to attract 30,000 people, will go ahead given the inconsistent global implementation of vaccinations, especially in developed countries. more details
ALIGNMENT IN PARIS
Throughout the pandemic, the world’s top envoy has been pounding the drum for bold climate change, pressing for the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies and the phaseout of coal-fired power plants in rich countries like Japan and South Korea by 2030, and internationally by 2040.
Renewable energy prices have dropped dramatically in recent years, and developments in technology such as battery storage suggest that renewable solutions are becoming more cost effective.
However, Guterres said that policies related to the fossil fuel-based system continue to obstruct the shift to renewable energy.
He urged governments to tax CO2 emissions rather than profits, and to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.
“The market is on our hands, and so is technology. Often government policies and tactics do not assist in the realisation of this goal “He said.
Developing countries need financial assistance to decarbonize their economies, and the developing nations, who are responsible for the majority of the surplus greenhouse gas accumulated in the environment, must provide this assistance, according to Guterres. This involves reaching a target of transferring $100 billion per year to assist developing countries in reducing emissions and adapting to the effects of climate change.
So far, climate assistance has fallen short of the target set in 2009. Estimates on what has been delivered differ, but according to a study released last year by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, just $79 billion was transferred in 2018 – the largest annual transfer at the time.
At COP26, a new goal for climate financing will be debated. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that between 2016 and 2050, a total of $3.5 trillion in energy expenditures would be needed to meet the 1.5-degree mark.