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Rich Nations Must Deliver Climate Finance Before COP26, Says UN Secretary-General

New York: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is demanding much bolder climate action from G20 countries, saying on Thursday that developed countries must deliver on their pledge to provide $100 billion annually in climate finance to developing countries before COP26. Also Read – Tamil Nadu Budget To Focus On Climate Change, Threats To Coastal Erosion

His comments at the UN Security Council briefing on the ‘role of climate action in maintaining international peace and security’ followed inadequate climate action by many countries, especially rich countries, ahead of the COP26, the annual climate change negotiations in Glasgow from October 31st. Also read – Temperatures, sea levels will continue to rise: key points from the UN report on climate change

“We need a breakthrough in adaptation and resilience to address the already serious impacts of climate disruption on the lives and livelihoods of people around the world. It is essential that at least 50 percent of global climate finance is used to build resilience and support adaptation. Annual adaptation costs in developing countries are estimated at $70 billion, and they are expected to reach $300 billion per year by 2030,” he said, adding: “Huge gaps remain in adaptation finance for developing countries.” Also Read – 2021 G7 Summit: Leaders pledge to deliver on vaccines, climate; Call on China on proper abuse | 10 points

“We simply cannot achieve our shared climate goals — nor achieve the hopes of lasting peace and security — if resilience and adaptation remain the forgotten half of the climate equation,” Guterres warned.

“This neglect seriously jeopardizes our collective efforts on the critical path to COP26 in November,” he said, demanding rich countries contribute their share of the climate finance cat.

Before that, he had also urged Member States to show “more ambition” in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) through COP26 and to translate their commitments into concrete and immediate action. “Together, we need a 45 percent reduction in global emissions by 2030,” he said.

At COP26, countries will negotiate measures to be taken to control emissions and limit global temperature rise to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century compared to the pre-industrial era.

Guterres also said that climate adaptation and peacebuilding can and should reinforce each other. “Clearly, climate change and environmental mismanagement are risk multipliers. Where coping capabilities are limited and there is heavy reliance on dwindling natural resources and ecosystem services, such as water and fertile land, grievances and tensions can explode, complicating efforts to prevent conflict and maintain peace,” he said.

Guterres said more than 30 million people were displaced by climate-related disasters last year, saying “90 percent of refugees come from countries that are among the most vulnerable and least able to adapt to the effects of climate change.”

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