Sixty-six countries have signaled their intent to achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, the UN said yesterday, seen as a vital goal in preventing catastrophic longer term climate change.
“In terms of the 2050 group, 66 governments are joined by 10 regions, 102 cities, 93 businesses and 12 investors — all committed to net zero CO2 emissions by 2050,” the office of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.
“The climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win,” Guterres said.
The announcement came as about 60 world leaders have convened for the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City.
Countries announced commitments to carbon reduction targets under the Paris agreement of 2015, and are now expected to update their “nationally determined contributions” by 2020.
African countries said they would urge the UN to declare a global climate emergency and called for countries’ climate action plans to be legally binding to ensure the Paris goals are met.
Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba, the current chair of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change, is scheduled to deliver the demands, which drawn last month up at a meeting in Ethiopia.
African governments are also seeking ways to raise money to improve monitoring and forecasting of weather and seasonal climate trends, as worsening floods, storms and drought ruin homes, livelihoods and food crops across the continent.
In other developments, activists seeking to pressure US politicians to fight climate change yesterday blocked four major traffic hubs in Washington to draw attention to the UN Climate Summit.
The protest, called Shut Down DC, was backed by about two dozen groups.
Additional reporting by Reuters and Reuters Thompson Foundation
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