EU chief calls for climate leadership

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BRUSSELS – The European Union’s chief executive on Thursday called for a show of climate leadership ahead of two major international meetings focused on tackling global warming, warning that world leaders face “a moment of truth”.

“What we need above all is leadership,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, before heading to a summit of the Group of 20 most developed countries. The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, kicks off Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland.

“We need leadership for credible commitments to decarbonization in order to reach the goal of net zero by mid-century. But we also need sufficient commitments to truly reduce emissions this decade,” von der Leyen told reporters in Brussels.

A new report from the United Nations Environment Program has found that new promises from governments to cut emissions raise hopes, but are not tough enough to prevent global warming from exceeding 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit by the next. end of the century.

He concluded that recent announcements by dozens of countries, including the 27-country EU, to target “net-zero” emissions by 2050 could, if fully implemented, limit a rise in temperature. world to 4 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s closer but still above the less stringent goal agreed in the 2015 Paris climate agreement of capping global warming at 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit compared to pre-industrial times.

Von der Leyen said the world remains “on a very dangerous course” and leaders must take immediate action to limit the rise in global temperature to less than 2 degrees.

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“It’s not a question of 30-40 years. It’s now. It’s this decade where we have to improve, otherwise we risk reaching irreversible tipping points,” she said.

Executives, diplomats, scientists and environmental activists meet from Sunday to November 12 in Glasgow to discuss how countries and businesses can adjust their targets to avoid the most extreme climate change scenarios that would lead to a rise significant sea level and more frequent wild weather conditions. and more droughts.

On Tuesday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that global warming could pose “an existential threat to humanity.” He said he would use his trip to the G20 summit to pressure all countries, including major emerging economies such as China, to do more against climate change.


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