U.N. chief urges faster shift to ‘net zero’ after report highlights climate threat

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U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on rich nations to accelerate their shift to “net zero” emissions on Monday after a new assessment from scientists warned there was little time to lose when it came to tackling climate change.

In a recorded address, Guterres described the sixth “synthesis report” from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as “a survival guide for humanity” and urged developed countries to commit to “net zero” by the earlier date of around 2040.

According to the IPCC, emissions must be halved by the mid-2030s if the world is to have any chance of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels – a key target enshrined in the Paris accord.

Kaisa Kosonen, a climate expert at Greenpeace International, added : “This report is definitely a final warning on 1.5C. If governments just stay on their current policies, the remaining carbon budget will be used up before the next IPCC report [due in 2030].”

Guterres asked governments to take drastic action to reduce emissions, by investing in renewable energy and low-carbon technology. He said rich countries must try to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions “as close as possible to 2040”, rather than waiting for the 2050 deadline most have signed up to.

via Reuters, Guardian

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