No pathway to 2050 net-zero goal without G20 leadership – UN

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Following G20 ministers failing to reach an agreement on the wording of key climate change commitments during their Ministerial Meeting on Environment, Climate and Energy, UN secretary-general António Guterres said the world “urgently needs a clear and unambiguous commitment to the 1.5degree goal of the Paris Agreement from all G20 nations.”

He said: “There is no pathway to this goal without the leadership of the G20. This signal is desperately needed by the billions of people already on the frontlines of the climate crisis and by markets, investors and industry who require certainty that a net-zero climate-resilient future is inevitable.”

The UN chief reminded that science indicates that to meet that ‘ambitious, yet achievable goal’, the world must achieve carbon neutrality before 2050 and cut dangerous greenhouse gas emissions by 45 % by 2030 from 2010 levels. “But we are way off track,” warned Guterres.

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The ministers could not agree on wording related to phasing out coal and the 1.5degree goal, which must now be discussed at the G20 summit in Rome in October, just one day before COP26 starts.

The world needs the G20 to deliver on climate change promises

With less than 100 days left before the 2021 United Nations Climate Conference COP 26, a pivotal meeting that will be held in Glasgow at the end of October, Guterres urged all G20 and other leaders to commit to net-zero by mid-century, present more ambitious 2030 national climate plans and deliver on concrete policies and actions aligned with a net-zero future.

These include no new coal after 2021, phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and agreeing to a minimum international carbon pricing floor as proposed by the International Monetary Fund.

“The G7 and other developed countries must also deliver on a credible solidarity package of support for developing countries including meeting the $100 billion goal, increasing adaptation and resilience support to at least 50% of total climate finance and getting public and multilateral development banks to significantly align their climate portfolios to meet the needs of developing countries,” highlighted Guterres.

The UN Chief informed that he intends to use the opportunity of the upcoming UN General Assembly high-level session to bring leaders together to reach a political understanding on these critical elements of the ‘package’ needed for COP26 in Glasgow.