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Climate summit urges more action

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SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — At the two-day P4G or ‘Partnering for Green Growth’ summit — the second of its kind following the inaugural meeting held in Copenhagen in 2018 — world leaders called in the concluding Seoul Declaration for more action in the global drive towards a greener planet.

“We recognize that climate change, desertification and land degradation, and biodiversity loss are three of the greatest environmental challenges of our times,” the declaration said at the virtual summit hosted by South Korea on Monday.

Top US and EU representatives urged other countries to do more in the global initiative towards a greener planet, stressing the world “cannot afford to wait.”

The US’ special climate envoy John Kerry told the P4G climate conference hosted by South Korea: “We are pressing other countries to step up their ambitions as well.”

Moments earlier, Vietnam called for developed countries to take the lead and provide financial assistance to others, but Kerry told Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh: “We all have to do it.”
Kerry’s comments came as virtual negotiations resumed ahead of the next UN climate change conference in Glasgow in November, with scientists issuing increasingly dire warnings on the situation.

But Monday’s summit statement came as many of the largest emitters have so far failed to keep up their commitments and countries have not even agreed on a unified rulebook governing how the Paris agreement works in practice.

The Paris agreement sought to limit temperature increase to well below two degrees Celsius, aiming for 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

The UN says that emissions must fall nearly eight percent annually to keep 1.5C in play — equivalent to the emissions saved during the pandemic every single year through 2030.
“Europe will be doing its part,” EU chief Ursula von der Leyen told the meeting. “But the reason we are here today is that we all need to do our share.

“It is a matter of self-interest, of mutual interest, and of collective interest, she said.”

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