UN chief slams G20 for 'too little and far too late' commitment on climate action

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, developing countries were promised $100bn per year to finance initiatives to help them cope with global warming

Antonio Guterres declared that financial commitments to the developing world must be delivered. AFP
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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has accused richer nations of putting climate action on the “back burner” because of the war in Ukraine while the planet “is burning”.

“The world can’t wait,” he told reporters on Monday from UN headquarters in New York. “Emissions are at an all-time high and rising.”

As the Cop27 UN climate summit in Egypt approaches, Mr Guterres implored the intergovernmental forum the Group of 20 to stop “pointing fingers” and provide clarity on their promise of $100 billion dollars a year to support climate action in developing countries.

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, developing countries were promised $100bn per year to finance initiatives to help them cope with the effects of global warming. To date, that target has not been achieved.

Mr Guterres declared that financial commitments to the developing world must be delivered.

“We need to see evidence of how they will double adaptation finance to at least $40bn dollars in 2025, as agreed in Glasgow” at Cop26, he said.

Looking ahead to Cop27, Mr Guterres expressed his hope that the event will move these discussions forward and show they are in this fight “together”.

Egypt will host the Cop27 conference in Sharm El Sheikh in November, intended as a forum for companies to fulfil the promises they made at the previous summit.

Expectations for the meeting have dimmed as the Russia-Ukraine conflict triggered a severe global economic slowdown, soaring inflation, particularly in energy prices after Russia cut gas supplies through the Nord Stream pipeline.

Updated: October 03, 2022, 3:56 PM
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