‘Serious risk’ of climate talks failing, UN chief warns G20

Antonio Guterres warns that the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow will fail if the G20 nations do not put mutual mistrust aside.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called on G20 leaders to come together to offer solutions on climate change and the global coronavirus pandemic ahead of a global summit on climate change.

Speaking in Rome on the eve of the Group of 20 summit, the UN chief called on nations to overcome “dangerous levels of mistrust” to avoid a “climate catastrophe” and reduce an “immoral gap” in the global distribution of vaccines.

“We see dangerous levels of mistrust among the great powers,” Guterres said Friday, calling an obstacle to “massive mobilization of political will” needed to successfully address the most pressing issues.

The two-day forum for international economic cooperation will bring together representatives of the world’s major economies, which together account for 80 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP), paving the way for the United Nations Climate Change Conference , or COP26., It starts on Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland, and will run for 12 days.

“Let’s be clear: there is a serious risk that Glasgow will not comply,” warned the UN chief.

Guterres called on the G20 to honor commitments to provide $ 100 billion each year to developing countries for climate finance and to review its current commitments, which “still condemn the world to a calamitous 2.7 degrees. [Celsius] increase ”in global temperatures.

“The most important objective of this G20 summit must be to restore trust, addressing the main sources of mistrust, rooted in injustices, inequalities and geopolitical divisions,” he said.

Responding to journalists’ questions, Guterres acknowledged that the emission reduction efforts of China and Russia, whose leaders will not attend the G20 in person, were crucial to successfully tackling global warming and other climate issues.

He also criticized geopolitical divisions that hamper a global vaccination plan against COVID-19.

“Global coordinated action has taken a backseat to vaccine hoarding and vaccine nationalism,” he said.

The UN chief directed his criticism at the richest countries, where people receive a third dose of the vaccine, while only 5 percent of Africans have been fully vaccinated.

“The recovery is amplifying inequalities. This is immoral, ” Guterres said, urging the G20 nations to do more to alleviate the debt of developing countries.

Al Jazeera’s James Bays, reporting from Rome, said that “the UN Secretary General is making it absolutely clear that what the G20 is doing here [in Rome] it is absolutely vital [for] success in Glasgow ”.

A senior UN source, who spoke to Bays on condition of anonymity, said the negotiations leading up to the summit had been extremely difficult, especially on the climate issue, leaving the UN secretary-general with a tone each time. more pessimistic.


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