Amidst ‘high political tension’, UN chief appeals to G20 leaders for stronger commitment to climate action, economic cooperation

G20 Osaka Summit 2019 World leaders meet at the G20 Osaka Summit on 28 June 2019.

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


The annual G20 summit of leaders from the largest and fastest-growing economies, got underway on Friday in Osaka, Japan, against a backdrop of what UN Secretary-General António Guterres described as “a moment of high political tension”.

“We have global warming, but we have also global political warming, and this can be seen in relation to trade and technology conflicts, it can be seen in relation to situations in several parts of the world, namely the Gulf”, he told reporters before addressing the summit, referring to recent attacks on oil tankers around the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman, which have heightened tensions between Iran and the United States.

Turning to “uncertainties about the global economy”, he pointed to trade conflicts, high debt levels, potentially unstable financial markets and the risk of global growth slowdown.

In the UN chief’s view, it “will be very difficult to have a breakthrough in relation to some of the most difficult challenges that the international community is facing”.

‘Rescue the planet’

The Secretary-General spotlighted the urgency of addressing climate change as a main priority.

Painting a picture of “heat waves in Europe, drought in Africa, storms happening also in Africa and the Caribbean” and a “multiplication” more intense, more frequent natural disasters “with worsening humanitarian consequences” he repeated his passionate refrain that “climate change is running faster than what we are”.

“All the analyses that can be made show the situation, in practical terms, is worse than what we could have forecasted, and the political will has been failing”, he said, calling it “a paradox that needs to be addressed”.

Avowing his belief in climate science, Mr. Guterres cited the landmark Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report of last October, which spells out that by the end of the 21st Century, temperatures must not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius  above pre-industrial levels.

This necessitates the world reaching carbon neutrality by 2050, which requires more ambition by governments and others.

He spoke about the UN’s September Climate Action Summit in New York where he will appeal to world leaders for a stronger commitment for climate action, including by “putting a price on carbon, ending subsidies to fossil fuels, [and] not accepting the idea that we still have an acceleration of the construction of coal power plants”, all of which are “absolutely essential to rescue the planet”.

2030 Agenda

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is another main challenge where “we are lagging behind”, according to the UN chief.

“If we project the different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the evolution since the beginning until now to 2030, we will be more or less at midway of what the international community has determined when the Agenda 2030 was approved”, he said, arguing the need to accelerate resource mobilization. “Countries need to do more, mobilizing their own internal resources, improving their governance, reducing corruption, implementing the rule of law”.

Mr. Guterres highlighted that G20 nations represent 80 per cent of climate change emissions and appealed for a stronger commitment to international financial and economic cooperation.

Iran, China, US and the digital economy

After delivering his prepared text, the UN chief took questions on a variety of subjects, including rising tensions between the United States and Iran, where he reiterated his support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.

“I have always believed and will go on believing that the JCPOA is a very important instrument…and it was a factor of stability, and that it will be very important to preserve it”, he stated. “Obviously, it is essential to de-escalate the situation in the Gulf” to avoid a confrontation that “the world couldn’t afford”.

When asked to what extent the UN chief held President Trump responsible for disagreements among the G20 leaders, he stressed the importance of dialogue between the presidents of China and the US, saying theirs was “probably the most relevant bilateral meeting that will take place”.

On the digital economy, the UN chief spoke of the recently concluded high-level panel on the digital cooperation, noting the “huge impact” that it – along with artificial intelligence – will have on the global economy.

“We will see a massive destruction of jobs and the massive creation of jobs, but the jobs will be different,” he said, adding that there must be “a strong commitment” by countries to guarantee the education, social protection and job creation needed to “minimize the negative impacts” and “optimize the positive contributions of the fourth industrial revolution”.           

Advertising

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

EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: Second review shows improvements but a permanent Ombudsperson should be nominated by 28 February 2019

Draghi: Germany has to spend if Eurozone is to exit recession

Eurozone: How safe are our deposits? Which banks will survive?

Eurozone: The crisis hit countries are again subsidizing the German and French banks

Northern Bahamas ravaged by ‘disaster of epic proportions’ as UN releases $1 million in emergency funds

St. Vincent and the Grenadines breaks a record, as smallest ever Security Council seat holder

EU members commit to build an integrated gas market and finally cut dependency on Russia

EU-Turkey relations: Erdogan plays the refugee card while beefing up gas operations in the Eastern Mediterranean sea

3 megatrends for the factories of the future

Europeans show record support for the euro

Beyond ‘business as usual’. Addressing the climate change crisis

Towards a zero tobacco public space in Cameroon

Main results of Environment Council of 09 October 2018

COP25: Developing nation’s strike hard

Transport Committee pledges to stop empty flights due to COVID-19

‘Make healthy choices’ urges UN agency, to prevent and manage chronic diabetes

Europe can be at the heart of tech with purpose

A new way to teach active citizenship to students?

‘Great cause of concern’ UN chief tells Security Council, surveying ‘bleak’ state of civilian protection

The EU might as well go down the drain if foreign meddling corrupts May’s elections

EU budget for 2019: do more for the young, SMEs and the climate, urge MEPs

B-I-R-D: 4 digital technologies that can help supply chains take flight

EU strengthens cooperation with Ethiopia

Main results of EU-Japan summit: Tokyo, 17/07/2018

Nearly 3 billion people around the globe under COVID-19 lockdowns – Today’s coronavirus updates

Sign language protects ‘linguistic identity and cultural diversity’ of all users, says UN chief

Password managers aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Here’s why

EU Summit: Why was Poland isolated in opposing Tusk and the ‘multi speed’ Europe

UN’s Bachelet addresses progress and setbacks in human rights worldwide

To feed 10 billion people, we must preserve biodiversity. Here’s how

How to give start-ups a head-start

3 ways activists are being targeted by cyberattacks

#Travelgoals: why Instagram is key to understanding millennial tourism

How do we go about improving mental health in the community and reducing suicide rates in the 15-29 age group?

How to turn Africa’s manufacturing sector into a high-tech powerhouse

Pharmaceuticals in the environment: Commission defines actions to address risks and challenges

WHO study reveals ‘game-changer’ drug with potential to save thousands of women’s lives in childbirth

This man is installing 100 trash barriers in Bali’s rivers to stop plastic pollution

Flying high: how India could lead the world in drones

Drug laws must be amended to ‘combat racial discrimination’, UN experts say

UN human rights chief regrets closure of Burundi office following Government pressure

The Khashoggi affair: A global complot staged behind closed doors

IPCC reports devastating climate consequences; US in denial while EU does not fully support the 2050 net zero emissions target

EU Commission – US hasten talks to avoid NGO reactions on free trade agreement

General Data Protection Regulation shows results, but work needs to continue

Artificial Intelligence: These 3 charts show what people really think

Tougher defence tools against unfair imports to protect EU jobs and industry

China hails human rights progress amid calls to close detention camps

Antitrust: Commission imposes interim measures on Broadcom in TV and modem chipset markets

‘Passport to dignity’ that schools represent may expire fast, without emergency funding warns UN Palestine refugee agency

Around 52 million in Near East, North Africa, suffering chronic undernourishment, new UN food agency report reveals

The European Parliament declares climate emergency

‘You can and should do more’ to include people with disabilities, wheelchair-bound Syrian advocate tells Security Council in searing speech

These innovations could keep us cool without warming the planet

Climate change: Will COP23 be able to accelerate the implementation of the Paris agreement?

Safer roads: More life-saving technology to be mandatory in vehicles

ISIL continues to pose a ‘serious challenge’ worldwide – UN counter-terror chief

Moving from commitment to action on LGBTI equality

UN chief praises Malaysia’s death penalty repeal as ‘major step forward’

Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct of Amazon

More Stings?

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