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2021 is make or break year to confront global climate emergency: UN Chief

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on February 28, 2021

António Guterres, UN Secretary General.

2021 is a “make or break” year to confront the global climate emergency according to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

“2021 is a make or break year to confront the global climate emergency. The science is clear, to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C, we must cut global emission by 45% by 2030 from 2010 levels,” said Guterres commenting on an interim report from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) released earlier this week.

The UNFCC released its Initial NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions) Synthesis Report which measures the progress of national climate action plans ahead of the 26th session of Conference of its Parties (COP26) this November in Glasgow.

The report further urged countries to opt for 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.

The UN Chief called the report a “red alert” for the planet urging governments and major entities to “step up.”

“The major emitters must step up with much more ambitious emissions reductions targets for 2030 in their Nationally Determined Contributions well before the November UN Climate Conference in Glasgow,” he said in his statement.

“Now is the time. The global coalition committed to net-zero emissions by 2050 is growing, across governments, businesses, investors, cities, regions and civil society. Covid-19 recovery plans offer the opportunity to build back greener and cleaner,” he said.

“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,” he further added.

The initial report from the UNFCCC report covered submissions from countries up to December 31, 2020. The submissions showed the 75 Parties to the Framework Convention communicated a new or updated NDC, representing approximately 30 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

However, the report is still a “snapshot” and not the “full picture” owing to significant challenges in submissions posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, said that a second report will be released prior to COP26. Espinosa further “called on all countries, especially major emitters that have not yet done so, to make their submissions as soon as possible, so that their information can be included in the updated report,” as per an official release.

Published on February 28, 2021

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