UN SecGen warns weakening commitment to reduce temperature by 1.5 degrees

Jakarta – The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned against dwindling ambitions in climate protection in a recorded message at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, Berlin, Germany on Monday (18/7). He said, the spirit of countries to keep the earth’s temperature below 1.5 degrees is actually getting weaker.

“Eight months ago we left COP26 with 1.5 on life support. Since then, its pulse has weakened further,” he said.

He warned that greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rise and ocean heat have broken new records.Therefore, he calls on all countries to act together or else they will suffer the consequences

“Half of humanity is in the danger zone from floods, droughts, extreme storms and wildfires. No nation is immune. Yet we continue to feed our fossil fuel addiction.”

Furthermore, Guterres regretted that participating countries of COP26 failed to work together as a multilateral community and continue to play the blame game instead of being responsible for the collective future.

“We cannot continue this way. We must rebuild trust and come together — to keep 1.5 alive and to build climate-resilient communities. Promises made must be promises kept,” he added.

He said there is enormous potential for a just energy transition that accelerates coal phase-out with a corresponding deployment of renewables. Guterres cited the agreement with South Africa last November as a good precedent. “Partnerships under discussion with Indonesia and Vietnam are also significant. They embody the potential of working together in a multilateral and collaborative spirit,” he said.

He hopes that the G7 and G20 will demonstrate leadership on NDCs, renewable energy, and on working together in good faith. He pushed for coverage of a universal early warning system within the next five years, for starters. “And let’s demonstrate how we can double adaptation finance to USD40 billion dollars a year and how you will scale it up to equal mitigation finance,” said Guterres.

Regarding the financial needs of developing countries. Guterres asked for the pledge of USD 100 billion per year, not just lip service. “Give clarity through deadlines and timelines and get concrete on its delivery,” he said.

Guterres wants to ensure that those most in need of funds can access it. He said, as shareholders of multilateral development banks, developed countries must demand immediate delivery of the investments and assistance needed to expand renewable energy and build climate-resilience in developing countries. (Hartatik)

Banner photo: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks in a recorded message at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, Berlin, Germany on Monday (18/7). Source: UN.org

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