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Guterres commends Latin America and the Caribbean on climate action


Guterres commends Latin America and the Caribbean on climate action
UN Secretary General, António Guterres - (GP)

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BUENOS AIRES – United Nations (UN) Secretary General, António Guterres commended the leadership of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on climate action on Wednesday.

Guterres said he was counting on the countries of the Americas to send a strong signal to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) that it is possible to achieve a resilient net zero future.

“We need to act together to overcome the current impasse,” he said when he addressed the virtual High-Level Dialogue on Climate Action in the Americas.

COP 26 will be held from October 31 to November 12 in Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow.

Guterres told the conference that countries in the region were already showing their ambition in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climatic change, even as they grapple with the social and economic effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

He also pledged “the full support of the UN system to address the triple threat of COVID-19, climate change and debt”.

Guterres also highlighted three essential areas that needed immediate action. He said the first was to keep the 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels target within reach, noting at present, the world is “a long way from achieving it”.

He said the second area would need a breakthrough on adaptation and resilience and urged donors and multilateral development banks to allocate at least 50 per cent of their climate finance to this end. Currently, only 21 per cent is devoted to it.

Guterres said the third essential area would result in developed countries delivering on the solidarity agenda.

The one-day conference was hosted by the government of Argentina, and it brought together countries in the Americas to discuss shared commitment to enhancing climate ambition.

The virtual conference was co-organised by the governments of Barbados, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Panama, and will include interventions from governments, the private and financial sectors, development banks, academia, and civil society organisations.

Dialogue included panel discussions on topics such as enhancing climate ambition on the road to Glasgow, accelerating climate action through regional cooperation, and strengthening adaptation and resilience to the impacts of climate change.