World leaders convene for UN climate summit
New York, Monday
Sixty-six countries have signalled their intent to achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, the United Nations said on Monday, seen as a vital goal in preventing catastrophic longer term climate change.
“In terms of the 2050 group, 66 governments are joined by 10 regions, 102 cities, 93 businesses and 12 investors — all committed to net zero CO2 emissions by 2050,” the office of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.
“The climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win,” he said.
Some 60 world leaders have convened for the UN Climate Action Summit in New York aimed at reinvigorating the faltering Paris agreement, at a time when mankind is releasing more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than at any time in history.
The UN estimates that the world needs to increase its current efforts five-fold to contain climate change to the levels dictated by science—a rise of 1.5°C by the year 2100 to avoid escalating climate damage.
Countries announced commitments to carbon reduction targets under the Paris Agreement of 2015, and are now expected to update their “nationally determined contributions” by 2020.
Meanwhile, Russia’s prime minister on Monday gave formal support to the Paris climate agreement and ordered Russian laws to be adapted to its obligations, according to a decree posted on the government’s website.
The document signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says that Russia is formally adopting the 2015 Paris agreement and will now “allocate financial resources... to developing countries for prevention and adaptation to climate change.”
While not formally named a “ratification,” the government said in a statement that the decree signifies Russia’s adoption of the agreement and “Russia’s consent to the obligations under the Paris Agreement”.
A government source told AFP that the document is the “last step in the procedure of Russia’s adoption of the Paris agreement”.
Presenting his decree at a government meeting, Medvedev said that it is important for Russia to participate in the process of reducing emissions.
“The threat of climate change is (the) destruction of the ecological balance, increased risks for successful development of key industries... and most importantly, threat to safety of people living on permafrost and increase of natural disasters.”
The news comes just hours ahead of a new major UN climate summit, aimed to reinvigorate the faltering Paris accord as mankind is releasing more greenhouse gases than ever into the atmosphere.
One of the world’s key energy producers, Russia has remained one of the largest economies and polluters that signed but failed to ratify the accord. Greenpeace Russia in a statement welcomed the decision. -AFP