UN General Assembly Debate Highlights the Necessity to Deliver on Climate Action and Promises

A high-level debate in the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday focused on bridging the financial and technical gaps that will limit global warming. 

The one-day meeting takes place immediately ahead of the COP26 climate change summit, which will focus on countries’ commitments to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius, as set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement. 

In his opening remarks, Assembly President Abdulla Shahid emphasized the “bunt realities” of climate change, such as increasing sea levels, which are endangering island nations like the Maldives. 

Mr. Shahid, however, as the architect of a “Presidency of Hope,” emphasized that countries can overcome these obstacles by working together. 

The reasons for the climate emergency are unmistakable, according to scientists. According to Valérie Masson-Delmotte of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body that has published a series of ground-breaking but alarming reports on the issue, human activities have warmed the atmosphere, oceans, and land, causing ice melt and causing unprecedented and rapid changes. 

The United Nations and its General Assembly, which includes representatives from all 193 member states, were established to bring countries together to solve common concerns such as climate change. 

The COP26 meeting in Glasgow will be a historic “Make it or Break it” moment because, despite the warnings, countries’ efforts to date simply do not measure up to what is so sorely needed. 

The world is currently on course for a global temperature rise of 2.7 degrees Celsius, well above the 1.5-degree objective, or the only livable future for humanity. 

Only by cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent this decade compared to 2010 levels and reaching net-zero emissions by mid-century can the situation be reversed. Leaders must also bring strong ambitions and new concrete measures at COP26. 

While people want their governments to lead, everyone can contribute to a future in which fossil fuels, which emit greenhouse gases, are replaced with cleaner energy sources. This applies to businesses, investors, and normal citizens. 

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