Failing to agree climate action would ‘not only be immoral’ but ‘suicidal’, UN chief tells COP24

UNFCCC Secretariat/James Dowson UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the COP24 climate change conference in Katowice, Poland. 12 December 2018.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

With roadblocks continuing at the COP24 climate change conference over how to implement the  historic 2015 Paris Agreement, United Nations chief António Guterres returned to Poland on Wednesday, to challenge the more than 100 Government leaders gathered in Katowice to find consensus and “finish the job.”

“In my opening statement to this conference one week ago…I warned that climate change is running faster than we are and that Katowice must — in no uncertain terms — be a success, as a necessary platform to reverse this trend,” said Secretary-General Guterres.

Since 2 December, the conference has brought together thousands of climate action decision-makers, advocates and activists, with one key objective: adopting global guidelines for the 197 parties of the 2015 Paris Agreement, when countries committed to limiting global warming to less than 2°C – and as close as possible to 1.5° – above pre-industrial levels.

With only three days left at the conference for the negotiations, the UN chief regretted that “despite progress in the negotiating texts, much remains to be done”. On Wednesday, given the complex state of discussions, the Polish Presidency of COP24 proposed a text to act as a “new basis for negotiations”.

“Key political issues remain unresolved,” said Mr. Guterres. “This is not surprising—we recognize the complexity of this work. But we are running out of time,” he warned, referring to the alarming special report on global warming issued in October by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“Over the last 10 days”, he said, addressing the country delegations which are locked in negotiations, “many of you have worked long, hard hours and I want to acknowledge your efforts. But we need to accelerate those efforts to reach consensus if we want to follow-up on the commitments made in Paris.”

He called on negotiators to boost their ambition, with regards to “predictable and accessible financial flows for the economic transition towards a low-emission and climate-resilient world.”

The Secretary-General reminded the audience that developed countries had a financial obligation to support the efforts of developing countries, as established by the UN Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC), under which the Paris Agreement falls, and which was signed in 1992, more than 25 years ago.

“It’s very difficult to explain to those suffering from the effects of climate change that we have not managed to find predictable support for the actions that must be taken,” he remarked.

Mr. Guterres hailed various financial announcements made since the beginning of COP24, including by the World Bank, multilateral development banks, and the private sector. However, he urged developed nations to “scale up their contributions to jointly mobilize $100 billion annually by 2020”, as laid out three years ago in Paris.

Balance the responsibilities ‘of all countries’ to beat climate change

In addition to increased resources, the UN Secretary-General also called for the development of a “flexible but robust set of rules” to implement the Paris Agreement – as 2018 was set by the UNFCCC parties themselves, as the deadline for these guidelines, so countries can move forward with climate action in a transparent way.

“Countries have different realities, different capacities and different circumstances,” noted the UN chief, as he explained that “we must find a formula that balances the responsibilities of all countries” and that is “fair and effective for all”.

To achieve this, Mr. Guterres stressed the importance of building trust through a “strong transparency framework to monitor and assess progress on all fronts: mitigation, adaptation and provision of support, including finance, technology and capacity building”.

The UN chief said we have the know-how, as well as “incredible momentum from all segments of society” adding that “what we need, is the political will to move forward”.

“I understand that none of this s easy. I understand some of you will need to make some tough political decisions,” he acknowledged, “But this is the time for consensus. This is the time for political compromises to be reached. This means sacrifices, but it will benefit us all collectively.”

Challenging the delegates and ministers to overcome their national preferences and work “together” and “finish the job” with raised ambition “on all fronts”, Mr. Guterres concluded: “To waste this opportunity in Katowice would compromise our last best chance to stop runaway climate change. It would not only be immoral, it would be suicidal.”

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Talent is worldwide. Opportunity is not. How can we redistribute it?

As ride-hailing firms drive into the future, who is being left behind?

What if big-tech companies became non-profits?

Mobile technology saving lives: Changing healthcare systems with simple technological solutions

Entrepreneur India Convention 2016: Bringing together Entrepreneurs, Investors, Startups and SMEs

Recovering from COVID-19: these are the risks to anticipate now – before it’s too late

Empty stadiums and online streaming: how coronavirus is affecting the media industry

Change is happening – and young people are leading the way forward

Can one FTA and 110 lobby meetings make the dirty oil clean in Europe?

Killing of Egyptian peacekeeper in Mali ‘may constitute war crimes’ Guterres warns, urging ‘swift action’

Prisoner executions in Belarus ‘simply unacceptable’, says UN rights body

Indexation of family benefits, child tax credit and family tax credits: Commission takes Austria to Court for discrimination

Why the Fourth Industrial Revolution needs more arts graduates

Questions and answers: Commission proposes SURE, a new temporary instrument worth up to €100 billion to help protect jobs and people in work

Greece returns to markets at a high cost to taxpayers, after four years out in the cold

Judges urge Security Council to serve interests of all UN Member States

Artificial Intelligence: guidelines for military and non-military use

5 factors driving the Chinese lawtech boom

This is how we can save millions of people from extreme poverty after COVID-19

Listen to the future – how 26 youth-led organizations are supercharging the UN’s Global Goals

State of the Energy Union: Progress made on the clean energy transition and a basis for green recovery

New UN-Syrian Action Plan signals an ‘important day’ for child protection, says UN envoy

‘We all must step up’ collective action on disability inclusion – UN deputy chief

Environmental Implementation Review: Commission helps Member States to better apply EU environment rules to protect citizens and enhance their quality of life

Clamp down on illegal trade in pets, urge Public Health Committee MEPs

EU Council approves visa-free travel for Ukraine and cement ties with Kiev

4 steps towards wiping out cervical cancer

European Commission: Does Apple, Starbucks and Fiat really pay their taxes?

Consultant in Forensic Technology – 1969

Does the “climate change” require ombudsman services for environment?

Soil pollution ‘jeopardizing’ life on Earth, UN agency warns on World Day

The Brussels bureaucracy blocks the Youth Guarantee scheme

Groundbreaking cancer-fighting drugs now included in updated UN list of essential medicines

Parliament ready to fight for a different EU budget

China Unlimited and the Chinese dream

Why is Merkel’s Germany so liberal with the refugees? Did the last elections change that?

Are the G20 leaders ready to curb corporate tax-avoidance?

Make this the year of ‘transformative solutions’ to avert disastrous climate change: UN Deputy Chief

Migration: Better travel safe than sorry

3 strategies for Africa to thrive in this new era of globalization

Quantitative easing: how Mario can tackle low inflation in Eurozone

A 550 km-long mass of rotting seaweed is heading for Mexico’s pristine beaches

How AI is shaping financial services

From Grexit to Brexit: UK industry now says the in/out referendum is good for your health

It’s 100 years since US women got the right to vote, but how has gender equality changed?

The cost of housing is tearing our society apart

‘Champion for multilateralism’ readies to hand over UN General Assembly gavel

Climate change is a security threat. We must act now

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Metallo by Aurubis

Greece begins a new chapter following the conclusion of its stability support programme

EU: Centralised economic governance and bank supervision may lead to new crisis

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Europe’s children urge leaders to commit to climate action at UN Climate Summit in Paris

Almost all businesses expect to face a crisis. And how they deal with them really counts

UN chief commends Algerians for ‘mature and calm’ demonstrations for change, leading up to presidential resignation

Trump in London poisons UK and Europe

India: step up reform efforts to increase quality jobs and incomes

Why David Cameron’s large victory in UK elections will not pursue a ‘Brexit’

UK must end ‘unlawful’ administration of Chagos Archipelago ‘as rapidly as possible,’ top UN court rules

Latin America and Caribbean region deadliest for journalists in 2019

FROM THE FIELD: Enduring freezing winter in a war zone

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s