2021-05 27
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New Climate Predictions Increase Likelihood of Temporarily Reaching 1.5 °C in Next 5 Years



Credit: josealbafotos / Pixabay Geneva, 27 May 2021 (WMO) - There is about a 40% chance of the annual average global temperature temporarily reaching 1.5°C in at least one of the next five years – and these odds are increasing with time, according to a new climate update issued by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). There is a 90% likelihood of at least one year between 2021-2025 becoming the warmest on record, which would dislodge 2016 from the top ranking, according to the Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update, produced by the United Kingdom’s Met Office, the WMO lead centre for such predictions. Over 2021-2025, high-latitude regions and the Sahel are likely to be wetter and there is an increased chance of more tropical cyclones in the Atlantic compared to the recent past (defined as the 1981-2010 average). The annual update harnesses the expertise of internationally acclaimed climate scientists and the best prediction systems from leading climate centres around the world to produce actionable information for decision-makers. “These are more than just statistics,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas. “Increasing temperatures mean more melting ice, higher sea levels, more heatwaves and other extreme weather, and greater impacts on food security, health, the environment and sustainable development,” he said. “This study shows – with a high level of scientific skill – that we are getting measurably and inexorably closer to the lower target of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. It is yet another wakeup call that the world needs to fast-track commitments to slash greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality,” said Prof. Taalas. “Technological advances now make it possible to track greenhouse gas emissions back to their sources as a means of precisely targeting reduction efforts,” he noted. “It also underlines the need for climate adaptation. Only half of 193 WMO Members have state of the art early warning services.  Countries should continue to develop the services that will be needed to support adaptation in climate-sensitive sectors – such as health, water, agriculture and renewable energy – and promote early warning systems that reduce the adverse impacts of extreme events. Besides limitations in early warning services we are having severe gaps in weather observations, especially in Africa and island states. This has a major negative impact on the accuracy of the early warnings in those areas and globally. We need to invest in the basic networks as well,” he concluded. In 2020 – one of the three warmest years on record – the global average temperature was 1.2 °C above the pre-industrial baseline, according to the WMO’s report on the State of the Global Climate 2020, released in April. It highlighted the acceleration in climate change indicators like rising sea levels, melting sea ice, and extreme weather, as well as worsening impacts on socio-economic development. The Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update confirms that trend. In the coming five years, the annual mean global temperature is likely to be at least 1°C warmer - within the range 0.9°C – 1.8°C - than preindustrial levels. The chance of temporarily reaching 1.5°C has roughly doubled compared to last year’s predictions. This is mainly due to using an improved temperature dataset to estimate the baseline rather than sudden changes in climate indicators. It is very unlikely (10%) that the 5 year mean annual global temperature for the entire 2021-2025 period will be 1.5°C warmer than preindustrial levels, according to the climate update. Professor Adam Scaife is the head of seasonal to decadal prediction at the Met Office. Commenting on the update, he said: “Assessing the increase in global temperature in the context of climate change refers to the long-term global average temperature, not to the averages for individual years or months. Nevertheless, a temporary exceedance of the 1.5 degree level may already be seen in the next few years.” The Paris Agreement seeks to keep global temperature rise this century well below 2°C degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C. National commitments to cut emissions, known as nationally determined contributions, currently fall far short of what is needed to achieve this target. The year 2021, and the crucial climate change negotiations, COP26, in November, have been widely described as a “make-or-break” chance to prevent climate change spiralling ever more out of control. Tackling climate change is high on the agenda of the G-7 Leaders' Summit hosted by the United Kingdom from 11-13 June. The Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update takes into account natural variations as well as human influences on climate to provide the best possible forecasts of temperature, rainfall, wind patterns and other variables for the coming five years. The forecast models do not take into consideration changes in emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, the impacts of  which on atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases have been small to date, owing to the long lifetimes of many of these gases. With the UK’s Met Office acting as lead centre, climate prediction groups from Spain, Germany, Canada, China, USA, Japan, Australia, Sweden, Norway and Denmark contributed new predictions this year. Combining forecasts from climate prediction centres worldwide enables a higher quality product than what can be obtained from any single source. The development of near-term prediction capability was driven by the WMO co-sponsored World Climate Research Programme, which declared one of its overarching Grand Challenges is to support research and development to improve multi-year to decadal climate predictions and their utility to decision-makers. Comprehensive Assessment Reports about the state of scientific, technical and socio-economic knowledge on climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for reducing the rate at which climate change is taking place are the responsibility of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which also issued a Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C. Source:UN Author:UN Date:May 27, 2021

2021-05 20
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G7 Ministerial Can Pave Way for Success at COP26



Credit: Zbynek Burival / Unsplash UN Climate Change News, 20 May 2021 – The G7 Climate and Environment Ministers are meeting virtually today and tomorrow to boost ambitious action on climate change ahead of the upcoming G7 Leaders’ Summit in Cornwall, United Kingdom, on 11-13 June. The G7 Summit will aim to unite leading democracies to help the world build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic and create a greener, more prosperous future. It will also build political momentum ahead of the crucial UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow in November. The policy priorities during the meeting include a net-zero G7 by 2050 at the latest, action on oceans, and supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy. Underlining the importance of these preparatory meetings for raising climate ambition – particularly with regard to financial support - UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, said in her keynote address today: “The decisions G7 nations make in the next few weeks will have a major impact on whether nations achieve success at COP26, make a truly green recovery from COVID-19, and eventually reach their long-term climate goals under the Paris Agreement.” The UN Climate Chief stated that while we are beginning to see faint glimmers of hope that the end of the COVID crisis may be insight, the climate change crisis is worsening, with no end in sight. She pointed out, however, that by addressing one crisis, we can address another: “The rollout of trillions of dollars to address post-COVID recovery is an opportunity to accelerate the transition away from fossil-fuel and high-emissions-based economies towards economies that are low carbon, sustainable and resilient. This transition will not be easy, but achieving it is the great human challenge of our times.” Ms. Espinosa stressed the need to work together as an international community to transition to a cleaner future: “Like COVID-19, trying to address the global climate change emergency through economic nationalism or isolationism is like covering one corner of a wildfire with a wet blanket. We are not safe unless the entire fire is extinguished.” Critical to addressing the climate emergency is comprehensive financial support, particularly for developing countries. Ms. Espinosa urged the G7, as the most industrialized nations in the world, to provide the necessary funding to underpin strong climate action and unlock the true potential of the Paris Agreement. She called for this finance to be in place by COP26. See full speech below: Excellencies: It’s a pleasure to address this ministerial event which comes at a pivotal point in a crucial year. I thank the incoming UK COP Presidency for hosting it and for continuing to advance the climate agenda. I congratulate G7 nations with respect to recent commitments they’ve made to reduce emissions by specific dates and boosting their climate ambition. I also congratulate the G7 for embracing a green agenda in the leadup to COP26. It has infused the climate change agenda with new momentum…but we are still very much in early stages. Nations are still far from the goals of the Paris Agreement and stabilizing global temperature rise at 1.5C by the end of the century. To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we urgently need more ambition with respect to mitigation, adaptation and — as I will focus on today — finance.   Excellencies: If I am blunt in my remarks with you today it’s because the decisions G7 nations make in the next few weeks will have a major impact on whether nations achieve success at COP26, whether they make a truly green recovery from COVID-19, and if they eventually reach their long-term climate goals under the Paris Agreement. We meet in the shadow of a global crisis that has decimated economies throughout the world and altered the trajectory of their programs and policies. For years people theorized about what a global challenge would look like and the impacts it would have. In just over one year we found out. It has been a tragic lesson for millions. While we may stand in the shadow of COVID-19, COVID-19 stands in the shadow of a far greater and more devastating emergency: climate change. It threatens nothing less than the existence of life on this planet. Like COVID-19, climate change knows no borders, respects no ideologies or political positions, and grows worse with domestic delay and a lack of international coordination. We are beginning to see glimmers of hope in a few nations that the COVID crisis may be controlled. We hope to see an end soon. But the climate change crisis is getting worse with no end in sight. You cannot measure climate change by numbers, statistics and economics alone… … its true impact is measured in human misery, loss and death. Immediate action is both a moral and economic necessity. Excellencies: I cannot impress upon you enough your vital role to turn the arc of history away from a story of loss and destruction to one of recovery, resilience and hope. By addressing one crisis, we can address another. The rollout of trillions of dollars to address post-COVID recovery is an opportunity… …an opportunity to accelerate the transition away from fossil-fuel and high-emissions-based economies towards economies that are low carbon, sustainable and resilient. This transition will not be easy, but achieving it is the great human challenge of our times. We achieve it only if nations are in it together: regardless of development stage, economic strength, population or geography.   Like COVID-19, trying to address the global climate change emergency through economic nationalism is like covering one corner of a wildfire with a wet blanket. Safety is both temporary and an illusion. We are not safe unless the entire fire is extinguished. Just over five years ago in Paris, the international community reaffirmed its political will to ensure that all nations have access to adequate financial resources to support their efforts against climate change. Acknowledging this responsibility, developed countries made a pledge to mobilize $100 billion annually for developing countries to support their action on mitigation and adaptation, a goal that was to be achieved by 2020. This promise — which has not yet been fulfilled — extends back to when I was involved in the Cancun Agreements in 2010. In fact, it was one of the main elements ensuring the Paris Agreement would later be adopted. And yet here we are, years later, still talking about it. Ministers, the bottom line is this: if we are to achieve success at COP26, we need this commitment met. We cannot break that promise made over a decade ago. It’s a matter of trust. It is a matter of integrity. And it is a matter of great importance because the $100 billion is but a milestone. If we are to truly make a transition towards a cleaner, greener more sustainable future; if we are to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and ultimately protect human life on this planet, we need even more wider-ranging and comprehensive financial support for developing nations to address climate change. I know how difficult it is, especially in our current situation and at this point in time to take decisions that involve a great amount of resources. But this needs to happen to happen soon. And it needs to happen before Glasgow. It will create the signal that the leaders of the world are determined to drive forward the transformation we so urgently need. We know developing nations need this commitment but G7 nations need it as well. The reality is that this is an act of collective self interest. Again, we cannot put out a wildfire threatening to engulf the whole world with a few wet blankets. We must fully extinguish it. There are just over 150 developing nations in the world, representing just over 6.5 billion people. This includes the whole of Central and South America, the whole of Africa, almost all Asian nations and numerous island states. To think we can address climate change without them is impossible. To think we can make the transition to a cleaner and greener future without them is impossible. To ultimately ensure the safety of humanity on this planet without them is impossible. For many nations, securing the financing necessary to spur their own transition to a more sustainable future can’t happen without this support. Instead of, for example, investing in renewable energy sources, their path of least resistance leads directly to energy sources based on fossil fuels. Some small island nations are in exactly this position now — their energy output based on diesel. Meanwhile the waters rise around them. That’s why wider-ranging and comprehensive financial support for developing nations to address climate change is so important. II. Now let me share a few thoughts regarding the energy transition. It’s clear that renewable energy will play a key role in any transition to a cleaner and net-zero emissions future. According to the IPCC, about two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions consist of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes.1 If energy is at the heart of the climate change emergency, it must be at the heart of its solution. There is some good news on this front. The International Energy Agency reported last week that renewables were the only energy source for which demand increased in 2020 despite the pandemic, while consumption of all other fuels declined.2 Also, power capacity expansion will be driven by renewables to an even greater extent in the coming years. This is excellent news. It shows there is an appetite, a willingness and financial incentive to make transitions that we were once told were simply impossible.   1IPCC, AR5 Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change 2IEA Yes, there is so much farther to go, but it shows we can do it. And while addressing climate change takes both public and private sector action, it is you, the ministers, who have and continue to make the necessary decisions to drive this transition. We need this leadership at an even wider sense as well. Again, it’s about support. As UN Secretary-General Guterres has pointed out, if we are to achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement — an agreement that benefits all nations — we must phase out coal by 2030 in developed countries and 2040 everywhere else. We are under no illusions — it won’t be easy. The prosperity we currently experience has largely been built on the back of fossil fuels. Nobody can question that. However, it’s not sustainable. Every piece of scientific evidence is absolutely clear about this. Many global energy companies recognize this as well. We also know fossil fuels are so deep-rooted in our societies that any transition will not only be economically challenging, but socially and politically as well. Many G7 nations have only just started to make plans to phase out of coal. Those decisions were not easy, and they took years. These are nations with strong institutions and resources. Now consider the situation in developing countries. Let us not forget that in some places, they’re still using animal waste to fuel their cook stoves. To make the leap suddenly to renewables — it’s not like turning on a switch. They need support and access to alternatives — support that G7 nations can provide. Domestically, you are the ones who can establish ambitious goals on emissions reduction and turning those goals into policies and regulatory frameworks in each country. And all of this needs to be reflected in national climate action plans – NDCs — this year. Excellencies: Your decisions now can make the difference with respect to whether we address climate change in time, or if we fail. Your submission of strong NDCs with a strong clean energy component can drive progress. Meeting past financial commitments while providing even wider-ranging and more comprehensive financial support for developing nations will do even more. And your work to overcome differences and make progress at COP26 can show the world you are serious today about meeting your long-term climate goals of tomorrow — all while building the trust and integrity in multilateral efforts to address climate change. We must achieve success. So much is at stake. Expectations from billions around the world for more ambitious climate action has never been higher. I urge you to rise to the challenge of our times. By doing so, the world will take a decisive step towards a cleaner, greener, and sustainable future, for the benefit of our generation and all of those to come. Thank you. Source:UN Author:UN Date:May 20, 2021

2021-05 14
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Latin America and the Caribbean Climate Week Provides Regional Boost for Success at COP26



Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Credit: Adobe Stock UN Climate Change News, 14 May 2021 - The Virtual Thematic Sessions of the Latin America and the Caribbean Climate Week 2021 (LACCW2021) are wrapping up today, providing important momentum for a successful UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in November in Glasgow. Momentum came from more than 5,000 registered attendees joining in the conversation, including from the host Government of the Dominican Republic, governments at all levels, private sector leaders, academic experts and engaged stakeholders. The virtual sessions saw 83 events and close to 100 hours of live presentations and discussions, with around 300 speakers, in collaboration with more than 30 global and regional organizations. Alluding to major health challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the region, Orlando Jorge Mera, Minister of Environment & Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic, said: "This event has taken place under very unusual circumstances and has tested our ability to reconcile and agree on innovative solutions in times of crisis. I can confidently say that we have passed the test. In these last four days, we have managed to catalyze commitments in three key areas: integration of climate action into national planning; adaptation to climate risks; and transformative opportunities towards carbon neutrality. We are now one step closer to consolidating strong positions for COP26 in Glasgow.” Speaking at the closing press briefing of the sessions, UN Climate Change Deputy Executive Secretary Ovais Sarmad said: “The fruitful sessions held over the last four days here in Latin America and the Caribbean demonstrate that the climate urgency is well recognized. And I am impressed how LAC countries are working on climate action whilst battling the COVID-19 pandemic. With only six months to go to COP26, we are at a crucial moment. Many nations are right now developing new or updated Nationally Determined Contributions – national climate action plans under the Paris Agreement - and this is the year we determine if we can get on track to meet the Paris Agreement goals. LACCW 2021 gives us optimism for success at COP 26 because of the momentum we see now, and the potential for more in the future." Dr. Max Puig, Executive Vice President of the National Council on Climate Change of the Dominican Republic, said: "After almost two years without sitting face to face at a discussion table with the Parties to the Convention, the Thematic Sessions of the LAC Regional Climate Week have allowed us to return to the climate agenda with strength and enthusiasm, with the active participation of all relevant stakeholders, including civil society, academia and national and local governments." Over three days, core organizing partners led discussions on themes that are crucial to meeting the world’s common climate challenge: The World Bank examined national actions and economy-wide approaches, seeking synergies and shaping national planning for a sustainable, green recovery. UNDP led sessions on integrated approaches for climate-resilient development, looking at how both climate risk and climate solutions are reshaping different sectors. The UN Environment Programme led discussions on seizing transformation opportunities that explore a reimagined future and the behaviours, technologies and financing needed to get there. On the final day of LACCW2021, the COP26 Presidency is hosting a series of events reflecting the UK’s four goals for COP26: mitigation, adaptation, mobilising finance, and collaboration. Conversations are ranging from capacity building on NDC ambition in the region as part of the COP26 Catalyst for Climate Action, to dialogues with Indigenous Peoples on leading nature-based solutions, as well as research and innovation and climate finance. Fiona Clouder, COP26 Regional Ambassador for Latin America and the Caribbean, said: “LACCW2021 has enabled us to come together and focus on the challenges and opportunities to deliver on the Paris Agreement and move to net zero in the Latin America and Caribbean Region. With six months to go now until the COP26 conference, together we need to build partnerships and tangible and ambitious action to tackle climate change to ensure we safeguard the future of this diverse region and its environment.” A dedicated session at the LACCW2021 Ministerial Event in August will ensure that outcomes from the 2021 Virtual Thematic Sessions are captured and framed within the larger context of COP26. Next steps to COP 26 include the upcoming May–June 2021 Climate Change Conference (sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies) and the Asia Pacific Climate Week and Africa Climate Week in July before COP 26 convenes in Glasgow in November. Source:UN Author:UN Date:May 14, 2021

2021-05 11
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Momentum Grows for Coal Phase-Down in Asia



Credit: Albert Hyseni / Unsplash UN Climate Change News, 11 May 2021 – In a major boost for regional climate action, an increasing number of countries in Asia have announced new commitments supporting the transition away from coal power. The world’s largest and fastest growing region, Asia accounts for more than half of global greenhouse gas emissions. One of the areas under most intense scrutiny to reduce emissions is the use of coal-fired power generation to meet the region’s rapidly increasing energy demands. The new commitments on phasing down coal include China’s recent pledge to become carbon neutral by 2060 and to peak coal consumption by 2025; Japan’s commitment to cut emissions by 46-50% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050; the Republic of Korea’s commitments to terminate public overseas coal finance and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050; Pakistan’s announcement not to approve new coal power plants; the Philippines’ moratorium on new coal power; and Bangladesh’s review of moving away from coal-based power plants. “These strong commitments by large countries are very important, especially in a time when we need leadership in light of the covid-19 pandemic. It’s really a significant contribution towards bringing the international community in line to achieve the goals under the Paris Agreement, which is crucial for the future of humanity on this planet,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Change Secretariat The commitments by these Asian countries follow on the heels of a recent report which states that if all planned coal power plants in the region were to be built, emissions in Southeast Asia would more than double and emissions in South and Southwest Asia would triple. This would ruin all prospects of achieving the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Notably, Asia dominates both in current reliance on coal for power generation and in the expansion of coal-fired power generation, with 76% of current global coal capacity and 94% of planned new coal capacity in the world. UN development system supports phase-down of coal in Asia To drive regional development in this area, the UN development system in Asia and the Pacific has formed the Issue-Based Coalition (IBC) on Climate Mitigation and Air Pollution with a working group on coal phase-down. Through this working group, the UNFCCC-IGES Regional Collaboration Centre for Asia and the Pacific (RCC Bangkok), together with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), have conducted a series of country dialogues and regional events in partnership with the COP26 Energy Transition Council and local organizations. A broad range of stakeholders are exchanging views at these consultations and outreach events, examining the coal phase-down from various angles. One such example is the side-event on “Moving Past Coal in the Asia-Pacific Region” held on 28 April during the ESCAP 77th Commission Session, which saw stakeholders discussing opportunities to move past coal-fired power generation. At the event, sponsored by the Government of Bangladesh, there was a discussion on the extent to which LNG (liquified natural gas) could be considered a “sustainable transition fuel”, since lifecycle emissions in many instances are comparable to coal. Participants highlighted the positive impact moving past coal has on air, water and soil pollution, which are all pressing challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region. However, with coal production in the Asia Pacific contributing significantly to many countries’ economies, alternative options as well as the just transition of workers and supporting economic policies will be crucial for sustainable development in the region. Moving forward, as a member of this IBC Working Group (WG), RCC Bangkok continues to support efforts to move past coal. Some examples of work being undertaken by the Working Group include developing energy transition fact sheets for India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia and Viet Nam, with further rounds of country dialogues planned for the second half of 2021. An event is currently being planned for the Asia-Pacific Climate Week during the virtual thematic sessions to be held 6-9 July, 2021. Source:UN Author:UN Date:May 11, 2021

2021-05 06
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Petersberg Climate Dialogue Charts Path to Net-Zero Emissions



Brandenburg Gate, Berlin UN Climate Change News, 6 May 2021 – Environment ministers from around the world are meeting virtually at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue from 6 to 7 May to drive forward international action on climate change and build momentum ahead of the crucial UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in November in Glasgow. The event will focus on political preparations for COP26, where a successful outcome will be crucial to put the world on a path to net-zero emissions and adapt to the worsening impacts of climate change and build climate resilience. The annual Dialogue is hosted by Germany and is co-chaired this year by the United Kingdom in its capacity as Presidency of COP26. A starting point for the discussions will be the climate targets announced to date by many of the major economies. According to a new calculation by Climate Action Tracker presented earlier this week, the sum of all the targets submitted so far would limit global warming to 2.4 degrees by the end of the century. This is far from the 1.5 degrees goal set out in the Paris Agreement. In his opening statement at the event, UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged the international community to show greater climate ambition: “We stand at the edge of the abyss. But if we work together, we can avert the worst impacts of climate disruption, and use the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to steer us on a cleaner, greener path.” The UN Chief said he was encouraged that countries representing 61% of emissions have committed to net-zero emissions by 2050, but that the gap needed to close further by COP26: “The bottom line is that, by 2030, we must cut global emissions by 45% compared to 2010 levels to get to net-zero emissions by 2050,” he said, calling for a price on carbon and the phasing out of coal by 2040 across the globe. With climate change threatening lives and livelihoods worldwide, Mr. Guterres stressed the importance of adapting to climate impacts, reiterating his call to donors and multilateral development banks to ensure that at least 50% of climate finance is for adaption and resilience: “The success of COP26 rests on achieving a breakthrough on adaptation and finance. This is a matter of urgency and trust. Developed countries must honour their long-standing promise to provide $100 billion dollars annually for climate action in developing countries.” He called on the leaders of the G7 to take the lead, with other developed countries following, to make substantial climate finance pledges for the coming five years. Tomorrow's virtual closing press conference with German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze and UK COP26 President Alok Sharma can be followed here. The German government has been organizing the Petersberg Climate Dialogue since 2010. In its first year, the event was held on the Petersberg near Bonn.  See official website of the German Environment Ministry here. See full statement by UN Secretary-General António Guterres below: Excellencies, Friends, I thank Chancellor Merkel and the German government for convening this year’s Petersberg Climate Dialogue with the United Kingdom, president of this year’s UN climate conference. Six months ahead of COP26, and still deep in the COVID-19 crisis, I would like to share my assessment of where we stand. Last year was yet another unprecedented period of extreme weather and climate disasters. Carbon dioxide concentrations again rose to a new high – 148 per cent above pre-industrial levels. This is the highest level for 3 million years – when the Earth’s temperature was as much as 3 degrees hotter and sea levels some 15 metres higher. Last year was already 1.2 degrees Celsius hotter than pre-industrial times – dangerously close to the 1.5-degree limit set by the scientific community. Under current commitments, we are still heading for a disastrous temperature rise of 2.4 degrees by the end of the century. We stand at the edge of the abyss.  But if we work together, we can avert the worst impacts of climate disruption, and use the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to steer us on a cleaner, greener path. To address climate change, it is clear to me that we need an equal balance between mitigation and adaptation, backed by finance and technological support. This will allow both developed and developing countries to fully mobilize to reach global net-zero emissions by mid-century and build resilience to changes to come. On mitigation, I see encouraging signs from some major economies. Countries representing 68 per cent per cent of the global economy and 61 per cent per cent of emissions have committed to net-zero emissions by 2050. But we need all countries – especially in the G20 – to close the mitigation gap further by COP26. The bottom line is that, by 2030, we must cut global emissions by 45 per cent compared to 2010 levels to get to net-zero emissions by 2050. That is how we will keep hope of 1.5 degrees alive. A top priority must be to end coal use by 2030 in OECD countries and by 2040 across the globe. And the move from polluting to renewable energy must be a just transition, involving local governments, unions and the private sector to support affected communities and generate green jobs. We can no longer afford big fossil fuel infrastructure anywhere. Such investments simply deepen our predicament. And they are not even cost-effective. Fossil fuels are now more expensive than renewables. So, we need the shareholders of multilateral development banks and development finance institutions to work with the management of these banks on funding a low-carbon, climate-resilient development that is aligned with the 1.5-degree goal. I welcome countries that have pledged to end fossil fuel finance and subsidies. It is time to put a price on carbon and shift taxation from income to carbon. Excellencies, I remain deeply worried about the lack of progress on adaptation. Already people are dying, farms are failing, millions face displacement. There is a false dichotomy that says adaptation finance can only increase at the expense of mitigation finance. We need both. With reduced fiscal space, high debts and mounting climate impacts, developing countries need mitigation and adaptation finance in equal measure. Yet adaptation finance to developing countries is a mere 21 per cent of climate finance. This represents $16.8 billion dollars. Actual annual adaptation costs in the developing world alone are estimated at $70 billion dollars, and these could rise to $300 billion by 2030. I reiterate my call to donors and multilateral development banks to ensure that at least 50 per cent of climate finance is for adaption and resilience. And I ask them to make concrete proposals so small island developing States and the least developed countries can access climate finance more easily. The success of COP26 rests on achieving a breakthrough on adaptation and finance. This is a matter of urgency and trust. Developed countries must honour their long-standing promise to provide $100 billion dollars annually for climate action in developing countries. The upcoming G7 Summit is a pivotal moment. I call on the leaders of the G7 to take the lead, with other developed countries following, to make substantial climate finance pledges for the coming five years. For some, this means at least doubling their latest climate commitments. Excellencies, Friends, There are six months until COP26. We must make them count. I encourage all ministers to start working on an ambitious and balanced political deal that supports developing countries. And I ask all stakeholders to make sure that their plans and initiatives are ambitious, credible and verifiable. There must be no doubt on the environmental integrity of our actions – from Article 6 negotiations to private sector net-zero commitments. We have a small and narrowing window of opportunity to do the right thing. Our future is in your hands. Let us use the pandemic recovery and COP26 to promote a safe and sustainable future for all nations and people. Thank you. Source:UN Author:UN Date:May 6, 2021