As the 76th High-Level Debate in New York got underway, UN Secretary-General António Guterres praised key climate commitments made by the world’s two largest countries.
He praised US President Jose Biden’s decision that the US would greatly expand its worldwide climate finance to $11.4 billion per year.
With this increased contribution from the United States, developed countries will be closer to fulfilling their collective goal of mobilizing $100 billion in climate funding per year.
Mr. Guterres also praises President Xi Jinping’s statement that China would stop financing coal-fired power stations abroad and instead focus on green and low-carbon energy. Accelerating the global phase-out of coal, he claims, is the single most essential step toward meeting the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree target.
While today’s statements were warmly received, the senior UN official cautioned that there is still “a long way to go” in order for next month’s UN climate conference (COP26) in Glasgow to be a success and “a turning point in our collective efforts to address the climate crisis.”
He emphasized that given on current emission reduction promises by the Member States, “the world is on a catastrophic path to 2.7 degrees of heating”.
The Secretary-General urged all countries, particularly the G20’s leading industrialized nations, to “go the extra mile” and contribute effectively to emission reductions.