By Mary Hearty
In order to limit the planet’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, cooperation among countries is crucial.
The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres said during a video briefing at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin, Germany.
He stated that this involves rising above geopolitical divisions; ensuring climate justice for developed countries and cleaning-up economies by breaking fossil fuel addiction and driving de-carbonization in every sector.
This comes after his proposal to the G20 -Climate Solidarity Pact -which urges all big emitters to make extra efforts to cut emissions, and wealthier countries support emerging economies to be able to do so.
“I presented a plan to super-charge efforts to achieve this through the Acceleration Agenda. This proposes that all countries hit fast-forward on their net zero deadlines,” Guterres said.
The Acceleration Agenda also urges developed countries and emerging economies to commit to reaching net zero by 2040 and 2050 respectively.
This can be achieved by pooling their resources, scientific capacities and technologies to phase out coal by 2030 in OECD countries and 2040 in all others; to make electricity generation net-zero by 2035 in developed countries and 2040 in all others, while providing access to electricity for all, he said.
This is in line with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances, as reaffirmed in Paris.
Guterres also called on developed countries to deliver the $100 billion this year, as pledged in Glasgow; to replenish the Green Climate Fund, and to deliver on their financial commitments on adaptation.
“Despite the promise made in Glasgow to double adaptation finance by 2025, parity between adaptation and mitigation finance remains too far off,” he said, urging countries to stop permitting, funding, and expanding coal, oil and gas – both old and new; and to speed-up the de-carbonization of major sectors – from shipping, aviation, and steel, to cement, aluminum, and agriculture – working with the private sector.
The Agenda recommends an overhaul of the priorities and the business models of multilateral development banks, so the trillions of dollars in private finance, which have long been talked about, finally flow to the green economy.
Guterres noted that it will see the first Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement, showing the world plainly where we stand in the fight for 1.5 degrees.
It will also launch the next cycle of national climate plans – or Nationally Determined Contributions – which must reflect the acceleration the world needs.
By the end of COP28, Guterres proposed that all G20 leaders should have committed to ambitious new Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), covering all greenhouse gases and the whole economy, and indicating absolute emissions cuts targets for 2035 and 2040.
He also urged all parties to ensure that COP28 delivers on loss and damage funding, adding that addressing loss and damage is about saving lives.