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G7 leaders urged for strong commitment

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The G7 group of nations with partners at the Hotel du Palais Biarritz, the location of the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France. UN photo

People all over the world are calling for a shift towards a greener, cleaner future, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres said, stressing that “we have the tools to address the climate emergency, but we need more political will.”

This was the urgent message delivered on Twitter from Biarritz, France, where the UN chief has been meeting for the past two days with G7 leaders to mobilize action ahead of his Climate Action Summit in New York.

Speaking to reporters, Guterres said the UN Summit — and the need for concrete action — come against the backdrop of a “dramatic climate emergency,” with the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reporting the years 2015 to 2019 are on track to be the five hottest years ever recorded, and historically high concentrations of C02 in the atmosphere.

And with Greenland’s ice melting, and record-setting fires blazing from the Arctic to Alaska and the Amazon, the Secretary-General said, “We are much worse than what we were during Paris,” referring to the 2015 conference in the French capital that give birth to the landmark climate accord aimed at easing global warming and curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

He said that recent scientific evidence provided by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made clear that “we absolutely need to keep the rise of temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius to the end of the century and to be carbon neutral in 2050 and to have a 45 percent reduction of emissions by 2030.”

“And so, it’s absolutely essential that countries commit themselves to increase what was promised in Paris because what was promised there is not enough,” said Guterres, calling for more ambition and more commitment to that end.

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