UN urges world leaders to declare ′climate emergency′ | News | DW | 12.12.2020

Visit the new DW website

Take a look at the beta version of dw.com. We're not done yet! Your opinion can help us make it better.

  1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages
Advertisement

News

UN urges world leaders to declare 'climate emergency'

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres described the situation as "dramatic" and urged countries to take drastic action. A virtual conference is taking place to mark five years since the Paris climate accord.

Watch video 00:32

UN chief urges countries to declare 'climate emergency'

World leaders should declare a "climate emergency" in their countries to spur action to avoid catastrophic global warming, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in opening remarks at a climate summit on Saturday.

On the fifth anniversary of the 2015 Paris Agreement, more than 70 world leaders are due to address the one-day virtual meeting in the hope of galvanizing countries into stricter actions on global warming emissions.

Guterres said that current commitments across the globe did not go "far from enough" to limit temperature rises.

"Can anybody still deny that we are facing a dramatic emergency?" Guterres said. "That is why today, I call on all leaders worldwide to declare a State of Climate Emergency in their countries until carbon neutrality is reached."

Watch video 04:19

Future-proofing Germany's cities

Fossil fuel investment 'unacceptable'

The UN chief said economic recovery packages launched in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic represented an opportunity to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future — but warned so much more needs to be done to ward off catastrophic consequences.

"So far, the members of the G20 are spending 50% more in their stimulus and rescue packages on sectors linked to fossil fuel production and consumption, than on low-carbon energy," Guterres said.

"This is unacceptable. The trillions of dollars needed for COVID recovery is money that we are borrowing from future generations," he said. "We cannot use these resources to lock in policies that burden future generations with a mountain of debt on a broken planet," he added.

China and India promises

China and India vowed to advance their commitment to lower carbon pollution at the summit.

President Xi Jinping was one of the first leaders to address the virtual conference and he said China will boost its installed capacity of wind and solar power to more than 1,200 gigawatts over the next decade. Xi also said China will increase its share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 25% during the same period.

And "China always honors its commitments," Xi promised.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India was ramping up its use of clean energy sources and was on target to achieve the emissions norms set under the 2015 Paris agreement.

India, the second most populous nation on earth and the world's fourth largest greenhouse gas emitter, is eyeing 450 gigawatt of renewable energy capacity by 2030, Modi said.

jsi/shs (AFP, Reuters)

DW recommends

Audios and videos on the topic