News ID: 317551
Published: 0254 GMT November 01, 2021

‘We are digging our own graves’: UN chief tells COP26 climate summit

‘We are digging our own graves’: UN chief tells COP26 climate summit

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during the opening ceremony of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 1, 2021.

The COP26 climate summit must act to "save humanity" and protect the planet, UN chief Antonio Guterres said Monday, warning that currently "we are digging our own graves".

The United Nations secretary-general told world leaders gathered in the Scottish city of Glasgow that countries must keep the Paris deal goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius alive, AFP reported.

“The science is clear, we know what to do,” Guterres said. “We must keep the goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius alive. This requires greater ambition on mitigation and immediate concrete action to reduce global emissions by 45% by 2030. G-20 countries have a particular responsibility, as they represent around 80% of emissions … Developed countries must lead the effort”, CNBC reported.

Calling for decarbonisation of global economies and the phase out of coal, he said world leaders need "maximum ambition" to make the summit a success, according to AFP.

"It's time to say: Enough," Guterres told the summit.

"Enough of brutalising biodiversity. Enough of killing ourselves with carbon. Enough of treating nature like a toilet. Enough of burning and drilling and mining our way deeper. We are digging our own graves."

Guterres called on rich nations to meet their promises of providing $100 billion a year in climate funding for poorer nations.

He also urged global leaders to do more to protect vulnerable communities, adding that nearly four billion people suffered climate-related disasters over the last decade.

"That devastation will only grow," he added.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said private sector money was needed to help developing countries decarbonise their economies.

The COP26 conference in Glasgow opened on Monday, a day after the G20 economies failed to commit to a 2050 target to halt net-carbon emissions – a deadline widely cited as necessary to prevent the most extreme global warming.

Instead, their talks in Rome only recognised “the key relevance” of halting net emissions “by or around mid-century”, set no timetable for phasing out coal at home and watered down promises to cut emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas many times more powerful than carbon dioxide.









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