UN chief urges global summit to declare ‘climate emergency’


The Climate Ambition Summit, being held online, comes as the United Nations warns current commitments to tackle rises in global temperatures are inadequate.

UN chief Antonio Guterres on Saturday urged world leaders to declare a “state of climate emergency” and shape greener growth after the coronavirus pandemic, as he opened a summit marking five years since the landmark Paris Agreement.

The Climate Ambition Summit, being held online, comes as the United Nations warns current commitments to tackle rises in global temperatures are inadequate.

The commitments made in Paris in 2015 were “far from enough” to limit temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the UN secretary-general said in his opening address to the summit, which is co-hosted by Britain and France.

“If we don’t change course, we may be headed for a catastrophic temperature rise of more than 3.0 degrees this century,” he said.

“That is why today, I call on all leaders worldwide to declare a State of Climate Emergency in their countries until carbon neutrality is reached,” he added, arguing the recovery from COVID-19 presented a rare opportunity to recalibrate growth.

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