Guterres praises Leadership of Latin America and the Caribbean

On Wednesday, the UN Secretary-General praised Latin American and Caribbean countries for their climate leadership. 

Secretary-General António Guterres said he was counting on these countries to send a strong message to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) that a resilient net-zero future is attainable. 

He was addressing at the Government of Argentina’s High-Level Dialogue on Climate Action in the Americas. 

The one-day virtual event brought governments from around the Americas together to talk about their shared commitment to raising climate ambition. 

The event takes place less than two months before COP26, which will be hosted in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, from October 31 to November 12. 

Even as they battle with the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Guterres highlighted that countries in the area were already demonstrating their ambition in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and responding to climatic change. 

He also promised the UN system’s full support in combating the triple menace of COVID-19, climate change, and debt. Mr. Guterres highlighted three critical issues that require immediate attention. 

First, keep the aim of 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels insight. He believes that the world is still a long way from reaching it. 

He gave some ideas of how this may be accomplished, such as achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and phasing out coal use by 2030 for OECD countries and 2040 for the rest of the world. 

Mr. Guterres also requested a breakthrough in the areas of adaptation and resilience. 

He urged donors and international development banks to set aside at least half of their climate funds for this purpose. Only 21% of the time is spent on it at the moment. 

To adjust to these developments, developing countries already require roughly $70 billion per year. By the end of the decade, that number might have more than quadrupled. 

Finally, the Secretary-General stated that rich countries must fulfill their obligations under the solidarity agenda. 

Mr. Guterres said that the world needed a “credible plan” for delivering on the $100 billion promise made over a decade ago and that multilateral development banks’ portfolios must be aligned with the 1.5 degrees goal.