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UN chief calls for accelerating climate action

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United Nations: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called for accelerating action to address climate change, as he voiced concerns over the world’s off-tracking and backtracking in reaching climate goals.

“I am very worried about where the world stands on climate. Countries are far off-track in meeting climate promises and commitments,” he told a press conference.

“The climate agenda is being undermined. At a time when we should be accelerating action, there is backtracking,” he said.

Guterres stressed it’s time “to wake up and step up,” to rebuild trust based on climate justice, and to accelerate the just transition to a green economy.

“Limiting the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius is still possible. We must consider this as a moment of hope,” he noted.

Guterres said that he has proposed a Climate Solidarity Pact and has also put forward an Acceleration Agenda to supercharge extra climate efforts.

The pact and agenda include calls for governments, the fossil fuel industry and other stakeholders to fulfill their commitments.

Developed countries must abide by their commitments on finance, adaptation, and loss and damage. They must also push multilateral development banks to leverage far more private finance at reasonable cost to developing countries to allow for a massive increase in investment in renewables, said Guterres.

Calling the fossil fuel industry “polluted heart” of the climate crisis, the UN chief said the world must phase out fossil fuels in a just and equitable way, and massively boost renewable investment in a just transition.

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