UN Secretary-General Urges Delegates at the COP26 to do More

Governments must demonstrate the necessary ambition on mitigation, adaptation, and finance in a balanced manner, according to the UN Secretary-General, who spoke in Glasgow, where key climate discussions are nearing their conclusion. In the meantime, 13 countries formed a new partnership to combat gas and oil, with cities as the focus of the day. 

On Thursday, António Guterres told delegates that the mobilization of civil society, particularly young people, indigenous communities, women’s groups, cities, and the commercial sector, had inspired him, emphasizing that the fight against climate change required all hands on deck. 

He then cited the latest joint research by UN climate and environment agencies, which reveals that, despite the most recent pledges and commitments made at COP26, the world is still on course for a disastrous temperature rise well above 2 degrees Celsius. 

Mr. Guterres urged every country, city, enterprise, and financial institution to begin immediately reducing emissions and decarbonizing their portfolios in a credible and verifiable manner. 

While the UN chief acknowledged that current efforts to combat climate change are insufficient, he emphasized the progress made at COP26 in Glasgow, which included a commitment to halt and reverse deforestation, several net-zero commitments from cities and other alliances, and pledges on coal phaseout and clean energy investment around the world. 

Mr. Guterres proposed the formation of a High-Level Expert Group to provide clear rules for measuring and analyzing net zero commitments by non-state entities, with a report due next year. 

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