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Global response to the climate crisis is failing, say ex UN leaders

The global response to the climate crisis is insufficient and leaves the world on the ‘road to hell,’ warn ex-UN climate leaders. 

Four former senior members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have published an exclusive journal, Climate Policy, reviewing 30 years worth of action on climate change.

The journal states that while countries have successfully agreed on three significant UN treaties over the past three decades, the global implementation of these is failing.

The four leaders have urged governments to ensure effective implementation of their agreed commitments.

To achieve this, the journal recommends that Governments:

  • Raise the ambition of their commitments
  • Ensure that there is simultaneous action by business and finance sectors and local and regional governments
  • Introduce taxes and eco-tariffs
  • Establish a 2030 interim target to ensure not exceeding the 1.5-degree target

Co-author of the journal, Michael Zammit Cutajar, who was the founding executive secretary of UNFCCC between 1991-2002, said: ‘Drawing on hardening IPCC science and building on the foundations of the 1992 Convention, the last 30 years of international cooperation have established a clear understanding of the need to prevent dangerous climate change and an opportunity to do so.

‘But the ambition and effectiveness of governmental and corporate action to this end must shift quickly to another scale, beyond recognition, if we are to achieve global net zero emissions over the next 30 years.

‘We cannot continue kicking the can down the road to climate safety.”

Christiana Figueres, who was UN Climate Chief at the time of the Paris Agreement, added: ‘The Paris Agreement’s national climate pledges – the nationally-determined contributions – were a great start, but they need to be significantly strengthened starting with the current round of updates, and then decisively implemented if the global goals are to be met.

‘One of the strongest successes of the UNFCCC regime rests in the growing engagement of civil society and business in implementing the climate change solutions that are readily available, along with the system of emission data and national reporting going back over 25 years.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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