| 19 June 2024, Wednesday |

G20 leaders can stop climate breakdown, but rules must change, U.N. chief says

A “spinning out of control” climate crisis, according to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, can be stopped by G20 leaders. He also asked them to update unjust and out-of-date global financial regulations.

The climate issue is dramatically becoming worse, but the global response lacks ambition, credibility, and urgency, Guterres said in a speech in New Delhi, the capital of India, which is this weekend’s G20 chair country.

Guterres asked the G20 to commit to keeping the “1.5 degree goal alive” – referring to the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of limiting the global average temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and aiming for 1.5°.

“I have put forward a Climate Solidarity Pact – in which big emitters make extra efforts to cut emissions; and wealthier countries support emerging economies to achieve this,” Guterres said.

The plan urges developed countries to reach net-zero as close as possible to 2040, and emerging economies as close as possible to 2050, proposing a phase out of coal by 2030 in OECD countries and 2040 in all others.

“The climate crisis is spiralling out of control. But G20 countries are in control,” he said.

“Together, G20 countries are responsible for 80 per cent of global emissions. Half-measures will not prevent full climate breakdown.”

The U.N. chief also called on G20 leaders to ensure a stimulus of at least $500 billion per year towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

An effective debt workout mechanism is needed to support payment suspensions, longer lending terms and lower rates on fairer terms for poorer countries, he said.

Calling the global financial architecture “outdated dysfunctional, and unfair,” Guterres said it needed deep, structural reform. “And the same can be said of the United Nations Security Council.”

  • Reuters