‘Serious risk’ COP26 may not deliver, warns Guterres, urging more climate action

Asha Bajaj
4 min readOct 29, 2021

#Glasgow, #Scotland; #NDCs; #COP26; #IMF; #DebtServiceSuspensionInitiative; #UNClimateChange

New York/Canadian-Media: There is a “serious risk” that the UN climate conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, “will not deliver”, the UN chief told journalists on Friday in Rome, just ahead of the G20 Summit of leading industrialized nations.

Senegal is one of six countries that has been affected by acute drought this year. Image credit: UNOCHA/Eve Sabbagh

Secretary-General António Guterres warned that current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), formal government commitments to progressively ambitious climate actions, still condemn the world to a “calamitous” 2.7 degrees Celsius increase in global warming.

“Even if recent pledges were clear and credible, and there are serious questions about some of them, we are still careening towards climate catastrophe”, he said.

More ambition, action needed

Under the best-case scenario, temperatures will rise well above two degrees, which Mr. Guterres called “a disaster”.

“If we want real success…we need more ambition and more action”, he said.
This will only be possible with a “massive mobilization” of political will and that requires trust, he said, which, amidst “serious questions of credibility”, is in “short supply”.

The UN chief said there were “dangerous levels of mistrust” among the G20 bloc, and between developed and developing countries, including emerging economies.

“The most important objective of this G20 Summit must be to re-establish trust — by tackling the main sources of mistrust — rooted in injustices, inequalities and geo-political divides”, he underscored.

Bridge trust gap

The Secretary-General appealed to the G20 for decisive steps to “bridge the trust gap”, beginning with vaccine inequality.

Because of divisions, he said that a G20-led COVID-19 vaccination plan never materialized as “global coordinated action has taken a backseat”, to vaccine hoarding and nationalism.

He joined the World Health Organization (WHO) in supporting its new Global COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy to get 40 percent of people in all countries vaccinated by year’s end, and 70 percent by…

Asha Bajaj

I write on national and international Health, Politics, Business, Education, Environment, Biodiversity, Science, First Nations, Humanitarian, gender, women