COP25: Support business efforts to tackle climate change, urges Guterres

UNFCCC UN Secretary-General António Guterres (centre) addresses the high-level meeting on Caring for Climate at the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 in Madrid.

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

The UN Secretary-General has called on business and civil society leaders to press Governments into articulating policies that support private sector efforts to address climate change.

António Guterres issued the charge on Wednesday in a speech to the annual Caring for Climate Meeting, held during the on-going UN COP25 climate conference in Madrid.

“I’m meeting more and more business leaders that complain that they cannot do more because governments will not allow them to do so, because of the environment that is still created in the bureaucratic, administrative, tax regulatory and other frameworks that are under government control”, he said.

Business sector fights climate change

Caring for Climate mobilizes business leaders to implement and recommend solutions and policies to beat climate change.

It was launched in 2007 and is convened by the UN Global Compact, the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

With the climate crisis increasingly jeopardizing life on the planet, the Secretary-General stressed that more collective action will be needed from governments, regions, cities, businesses and civil society.

“While we see some incremental steps towards sustainable business models, it is nowhere near the scope or scale required”, he said.

“What we need is not an incremental approach, but a transformational approach. And we need businesses to unite behind the science by taking rapid and ambitious action across their operations and value chains.”

The “science” refers to the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

This will require reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming, by 45 per cent by 2030, and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Business and finance cannot act alone

Business and financial leaders have been doing their part to beat climate change, as the Secretary-General acknowledged.

He was encouraged that 170 major companies have committed to set scientific, verifiable emission reduction targets through the ‘Business Ambition for 1.5 degrees’ campaign.

However, he said the business and financial sectors cannot act alone.

Next year, many governments will present plans to reduce their emissions, in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement.  Mr. Guterres forecast that these enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) will include carbon neutral strategies and green initiatives in sectors such as energy, industry, construction and transport.

“In support of these efforts, I am calling on you, leaders from the private sector and civil society, to challenge your Governments to use this opportunity to make clear their economic development policies that will enable your companies to invest decisively in a net-zero future,” he said.

The UN chief added that millions worldwide, particularly young people, recognize that more must be done to limit the worst impacts of climate disruption.

“That’s why they are calling on leaders from all sectors to do exponentially more to address the climate emergency,” he said. “We are quickly nearing our last opportunity to be on the right side of history.”

In his speech to the COP’s  high-level event,  the Secretary-General  urged the world’s biggest emitters to do more on climate.

“If we do not reach carbon neutrality by 2050, all our current efforts to promote sustainable development will be undermined,” he said.

Mr, Guterres also laid out 10 priorities to tackle the climate crisis.  They including  securing commitments from the main emitters of more ambitious national commitments by 2020, ensuring that all governments follow the example of the 75 countries that committed to coming forward by next year with net zero emissions strategies for 2050, and ensuring that national commitments include a just transition for people whose jobs and livelihoods are affected in the transition to a green economy.

Greta Thunberg’s visit

The teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg was at the UN conference on Wednesday, urging participants to focus on the science behind climate change.

She explained it was important to keep to the 1.5-degree threshold “because even at one degree, people are dying from the climate crisis.”

“Because that is what the united science calls for, to avoid destabilizing the climate so that we have the best possible chance to avoid setting off irreversible chain reactions such as melting glaciers, polar ice and thawing arctic permafrost. Every fraction of a degree matters.”

Ms. Thunberg told world leaders at the UN’s Climate Action Summit in September that they were “failing” her generation, by not taking action to ease the climate crisis fast enough, and on Wednesday, the 16-year-old Swede who founded the school strike movement, was named by TIME magazine as their 2019 Person of the Year.

The UN Secretary-General has welcomed this acknowledgement  of young people’s role in climate action, his deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq told journalists in New York.

“As I understand it, this is a recognition of the effect that youth have been having on this debate, and the Secretary‑General has been very clear about the need for the world’s leaders to listen to youth.  It is their world that we are currently damaging through our inaction and our delayed action.  One day, they will be the inheritors of the world that we have left for them, and we need to make sure that we have done right by them.  And it’s good to see recognition, both of the powerful role they can have when they make their voices heard and of the importance of listening to them,” he said.

the sting Milestones

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

Von der Leyen announces the start of HERA Incubator to anticipate the threat of coronavirus variants

This 12-year-old built an underwater robot to fight plastic pollution

A 10-step plan to save our seas

5 facts you might not know about why forest biodiversity matters

EU budget 2021: An annual budget focused on European recovery

“Fortress Europe”, “Pegida” and its laughing stocks

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

Ecuador: UN ‘stands ready’ to support talks, in bid to end political turmoil

Civilians ‘must never be a target,’ says UN in Afghanistan, amid troubling number of casualties during Ramadan

How do you make supply chains more visible without compromising security? A Dutch start-up may have the answer

How trade-based money laundering works and its impact on world finances

Disillusioned young people – France thinks it has a solution

UN chief praises Japanese climate resilience, as Typhoon Hagibis cleanup begins

More children killed by unsafe water, than bullets, says UNICEF chief

New research reveals the true extent of corruption in fisheries

We must stop a devastating ‘battle to the end’ in southwest Syria, declares UN envoy

DiscoverEU: 20,000 more young people will explore Europe in 2020

These are the 3 key skill sets workers will need to learn by 2030

UK: Crawley group wins European Citizens’ Prize

Did Draghi ask the Germans to accept a drastic change of austerity policies?

Joint European Union-United States Statement on addressing global steel and aluminum capacity

New General Assembly President brings ‘valuable insights’ into key UN challenges

3 vital skills for the age of disruption

The UN supports Europe’s military action in Libya and the Mediterranean; Russia and China agree

Europe turns out more jobs this summer

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

In aftermath of Libya airstrike deaths, UN officials call for refugees and migrants to be freed from detention

CHINA: five letters that could mean…

The world just took a step closer to eradicating polio

‘Harmonized’ plan launched to support millions of Venezuelan refugees and migrants

Here’s what a Korean boy band can teach us about globalization 4.0

Presidents of pan-European youth organisations call upon the European Council to preserve the Schengen principles

5 lessons for the future success of virtual and augmented reality

Germany is the world’s most innovative economy

EU Migrant Crisis: Italian Coast Guard Headquarters and Italian Navy to give host national opening addresses at Border Security 2016 in Rome

United States: UN chief ‘deeply saddened’ by deadly California wildfires

The price of centralization of human resources for health

Denmark is experimenting with ‘culture vitamins’ to lift people out of depression

How banking with blockchain can stamp out corruption and increase financial inclusion

African cities will double in population by 2050. Here are 4 ways to make sure they thrive

Europe bows to Turkey’s rulers, sends Syrian refugees back to chaos

These countries are driving global demand for coal

Bolivia: UN underlines support for ‘credible, transparent and inclusive’ election

Coronavirus: Commission issues guidelines on testing

A letter from Italy: Our insecurity in COVID-19 times

ICC Appeals Chamber acquits former Congolese Vice President Bemba from war crimes charges

The racial wealth gap in the US is affecting its citizens and its economy – this is how

Eurozone set to abandon monetary and incomes austerity and adopt growth friendly policies

Friday’s Daily Brief: human rights in Sudan, sombre anniversaries for Rwanda and Nigeria, and fears of ‘chaos’ in Libya

Business can be profitable AND drive progress on societal priorities

COVID19 a wake-up call to address development fault lines in Asia and the Pacific

EU, Canada and China co-host international meeting on climate cooperation and a sustainable economic recovery

Why building consumer trust is the key to unlocking AI’s true potential

How populist and xenophobic movements in the EU tear apart European businesses and startups

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of GrandVision by EssilorLuxottica

Protecting citizens’ access to social security in case of no-deal Brexit

Amid strong outlook for U.S. economy, risks abound

How can emerging economies navigate the mobility transition?

Vaccine nationalism – and how it could affect us all

Who is culpable in the EU for Ukraine’s defection to Russia?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

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

You are commenting using your 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