Addis Ababa , November 1, 2021 (Walta) – More than 120 world leaders meet in Glasgow on Monday in a “last, best hope” to tackle the climate crisis and avert a looming global disaster.”It’s one minute to midnight and we need to act now,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was due to tell them, according to extracts from his speech.
“If we don’t get serious about climate change today, it will be too late for our children to do so tomorrow.”
Observers had hoped a weekend meeting in Rome of leaders of the G20 nations, which between them emit nearly 80 percent of global carbon emissions, would give a strong impetus to the Glasgow COP26 summit, which was postponed for a year due to the pandemic.
The G20 major economies committed on Sunday to the key goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — the most ambitious target of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement.
They also agreed to end funding for new unabated coal plants abroad — those whose emissions have not gone through any filtering process — by the end of 2021.
But this did not convince NGOs, the British prime minister or the United Nations.
“While I welcome the G20’s recommitment to global solutions, I leave Rome with my hopes unfulfilled — but at least they are not buried,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Twitter.
The current commitments of the signatories of the Paris agreement — if they were followed — would still lead to a “catastrophic” warming of 2.7 Celsius, according to the UN.
COP26 marks the “last, best hope to keep 1.5C in reach”, summit president Alok Sharma said as he opened the meeting on Sunday.
“If we act now and we act together, we can protect our precious planet,” he said.
Climate advocacy groups expressed disappointment at the statement released at the end of the G20 summit.
“These so-called leaders need to do better. They have another shot at this: starting tomorrow,” said Namrata Chowdhary from the NGO 350.org.