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‘Humanity has opened the gates of hell’ for climate catastrophe: GuterresSeptember 20, 2023
United Nations, Sep 20 (IANS) UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday issued the grim warning, “Humanity has opened the gates of hell”, as he pitched the Climate Solidarity Pact for the industrialised that have benefitted the most by using fossil fuels to cut emissions and support emerging economies to reach climate change goals.
In his address at the Climate Change Ambition Summit here, he said that “climate action is dwarfed by the scale of the challenge” and “if nothing changes we are heading towards a 2.8 degree (Celsius) temperature rise – towards a dangerous and unstable world”.
“But the future is not fixed,” he said.
“We can still limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5 (Celsius) degrees. We can still build a world of clear air, green jobs, and affordable clean power for all.”
“The proposed Climate Solidarity Pact calls on major emitters – who have benefitted most from fossil fuels – to make extra efforts to cut emissions, and on wealthy countries to support emerging economies to do so.”
Guterres also proposed an Acceleration Agenda to turbocharge climate action for developed countries to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions as close as possible to 2040, and emerging economies by 2050. The agenda takes into account the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, which takes into account the levels of past emissions by countries and the economic development.
The Agenda “urges countries to implement a fair, equitable and just energy transition, while providing affordable electricity to all”. It would ensure credible plans for the developed countries to stop using coal by 2030 and for the other countries by 2040, he said.
He called for ending fossil fuel subsidies. He proposed a financial system that would put a price on carbon, and change the business plans of the international financial institutions to leverage far more private finance at reasonable cost to developing countries.
(Arul Louis can be contacted at [email protected] and followed at @arulouis)