UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres has decried the breakdown of trust between the global North and South at the ongoing 27th session of the Conference of Parties (COP27) on Climate Change in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Mr Guterres said the breakdown in trust between North and South and between developed and emerging economies was a recipe for mutually assured destruction.
“This is no time for finger-pointing. The blame game is a recipe for mutually assured destruction. I am here to appeal to all parties to rise to this moment and to the greatest challenge facing humanity. The world is watching and has a simple message: stand and deliver,” said the UN chief.
Mr Guterres urged the parties to deliver the kind of meaningful climate action that people and the planet desperately needed, as global emissions were at their highest level in history and still rising.
“Climate impacts are decimating economies and societies and growing. We know what we need to do, and we have the tools and resources to get it done. And so, I appeal to the parties to act in three critical areas,” he added. “First, the most effective way to rebuild trust is by finding an ambitious and credible agreement on loss and damage and financial support to developing countries.”
He also appealed to all parties to forcefully address the huge emissions gap, noting that the 1.5 target was not simply about keeping a goal alive but about keeping people alive.
“I see the will to keep to the 1.5 goal – but we must ensure that commitment is evident in the COP27 outcome. Fossil fuel expansion is hijacking humanity,” added Mr Guterres. “Any hope of meeting the 1.5 target requires a step change in emissions reductions. We cannot close the emissions gap without an acceleration in the deployment of renewables.”
Mr Guterres also called for the delivery of the $100 billion in climate finance for developing countries by the developed world.