The United Nations is in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, for its 27th annual climate summit, and UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres has some dire words for the future of the world: “We will be doomed, because we need to reduce emissions, both in the developed countries and emerging economies,” he told the Guardian on the eve of the summit.
Guterres says the outcome of current policy and dynamics between the industrialized and developing world will be “absolutely catastrophic,” without change.
Wealthy countries must help emerging economies accelerate their transition torenewable energy sources, and he finds that rich countries have emitted more carbon dioxide than their share of carbon dioxide emissions through coal, oil, and natural gas, whereas poorer countries such as Pakistan are more harmed than their share of carbon dioxide emissions.
Wealthy countries have promised to provide $100 billion a year in climate finance to poor countries, the target having initially to be met by 2020.
It was first promised in 2009 but never actually achieved.
A report last year suggested that it would only be implemented in 2023.
“This COP needs to demonstrate that there is a distinct shift from negotiations to implementation,” UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell told journalists online.
Egypt needed a leap away from the protracted process of drawing up a treaty to achieve its goals, he added.
“Paris told us what needs to be done, and Glasgow defined how we need to do it,” he said, pointing to the groundbreaking, landmark agreement of 2015 that sets a global warming threshold and last year’s summit in Scotland that finalised the treaty’s set of rules.