World leaders call for action to avoid ‘apocalyptic’ climate future, World News & Top Stories
GLASGOW – World leaders at COP26 made passionate calls on Monday (November 1) for action to save the world from devastating climate impacts, with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson likening climate change to an apocalyptic device in a film by James Bond.
“It is one minute to midnight and we need to act now,” Mr Johnson said at the conference, referring to a digital clock from a spy film that “goes off without remorse until a detonation takes place. end to human life as we know it “.
About 120 leaders are participating in the talks and will deliver speeches Monday and Tuesday as negotiations begin on a deal to prevent increasingly severe weather disasters, slow the pace of sea level rise and accelerate a green energy revolution.
“Let this be the time when we answer the call of history here in Glasgow,” said US President Joe Biden as he urged the conference to launch a decade of ambition.
On Monday, the White House said the president will work with Congress to provide US $ 3 billion (S $ 4 billion) in adaptation funding each year by 2024 for poor and vulnerable countries and highlighted the Build Back Better framework of his $ 555 billion government, the largest in the country. one-time investment in clean energy.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set 2070 as a target for his country to achieve net zero carbon emissions, a date much later than those set by other polluters.
Mr Modi told other world leaders that India will also increase the share of renewables in its energy mix to 50% by 2030.
He also criticized rich states for failing to honor their financial commitments to poorer nations, saying it was his duty to speak out.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo said his country needs financial support to speed up emissions reduction measures. âIndonesia will be able to contribute more quickly to the global goal of net zero emissions (by 2050). The question is, how important are the contributions of developed countries to us?
But while the calls to action in Glasgow are urgent and the risks of failure great, the atmosphere has been plagued by mistrust between rich and poor nations.
Developing countries, the most vulnerable to climate impacts, say rich states still fall short of their financial commitments and should also do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mostly from the burning of fossil fuels.
The summit also comes after a weekend of meeting leaders of the Group of 20 that made only modest progress on climate action. The major G-20 economies, responsible for around 80% of humanity’s carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution, have not committed to meeting the 2050 deadline to stop net carbon emissions. This is a widely accepted goal to prevent the most extreme global warming.
G-20 leaders have also set no timetable for phasing out coal at home and watered down promises to cut emissions of methane, another greenhouse gas.
But they agreed to stop funding new dirty coal plants abroad by the end of 2021 and reaffirmed the so far unfulfilled commitment to mobilize US $ 100 billion for developing countries to the costs of climate adaptation.
Over a decade ago, rich countries agreed to provide the US $ 100 billion in annual funding by 2020 and reaffirmed this in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The Paris Pact, adopted by nearly 200 countries, enshrined the goal of limiting global average temperatures to 1.5 Â° C above pre-industrial levels.
But global warming has already reached around 1.2 Â° C and the need for global action has grown urgent as the impacts have intensified.
“The six years since the Paris Climate Agreement have been the hottest six years on record,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told other world leaders on Monday. “Our dependence on fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink. We are faced with a difficult choice: either we stop it or it stops us.”
Broadcaster David Attenborough pointed to giant screens displaying the number 414 in the conference room – the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere in parts per million. CO2 levels are now the highest in 3.6 million years, increasing sharply over the past century.
Ultimately, he said the climate emergency comes down to this single number, a “measure that greatly determines global temperature.”
“We must stop carbon emissions this decade. We must recover billions of tonnes of carbon from the air. We must aim to keep 1.5 Â° C within reach. A new industrial revolution fueled by millions of people. sustainable innovations is essential, âhe said. , adding that current and future generations will be looking back to Glasgow and whether this has resulted in a global deal that has kept CO2 numbers from rising.
Outside the conference, protesters pushed leaders for strong action, led by young global activists such as Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg.
âAs citizens of the planet, we urge you to face the climate emergency. Not next year. Not next month. Now,â Ms Thunberg tweeted, asking her millions of followers to sign a open letter accusing the leaders of treason.
This letter had already exceeded one million signatures Monday evening.
Mr. Guterres greeted the young activists.
“The climate action army – led by young people – is unstoppable. They are bigger. They are louder. And, I assure you, they are not going to disappear. I am with them.”