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UN climate report a ‘red alert’ for the planet: Guterres

Nations are “nowhere close” to the level of action needed to fight global warming, a UN climate action report said on Friday, urging countries to adopt stronger and more ambitious plans to reach the Paris Agreement goals, and limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, by the end of the century.

26 February 2021

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s Initial NDC Synthesis Report measures the progress of national climate action plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs, ahead of the 26th session of Conference of its Parties (COP26) this November in Glasgow. 

It found that even with increased efforts by some countries, the combined impact falls far short of what is needed. 

“Today’s interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet. It shows governments are nowhere close to the level of ambition needed to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement”, Secretary-General António Guterres said on the report’s findings. 

2021, a ‘make or break’ year 

He said 2021 is a “make or break year” to confront the global climate emergency.  

“The science is clear, to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, we must cut global emission by 45 per cent by 2030, from 2010 levels”, he stressed. 

The Secretary-General called on major emitters to “step up with much more ambitious emissions reductions” targets for 2030 in their NDCs, highlighting that COVID-19 recovery plans offered the opportunity to “build back greener and cleaner”. 

“Decision makers must walk the talk. Long-term commitments must be matched by immediate actions to launch the decade of transformation that people and planet so desperately need”, Mr. Guterres urged. 

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