Ditch coal to avoid ‘disaster’, says UK climate czar
World leaders must agree to make coal a thing of the past at the November summit, otherwise there will be a climate catastrophe from global warming, Britain’s climate tsar said on Friday.
Britain, which hosts the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, known as COP26, said leaders should go far beyond “hot air” to mitigate the effects of change climate for rich and poor countries.
COP26 President Alok Sharma, UK minister responsible for preparations for the Glasgow summit, said that in order to meet the global climate target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the world would have to give up coal altogether.
“If we don’t act now, science tells us that these effects will become more frequent and more brutal; that we will see a scale of global catastrophe that the world has not seen,” Sharma said.
“Glasgow must be the COP that puts coal back into history”,
The world’s largest coal producers are China, India, Indonesia, Australia, the United States, Russia and the European Union. China is also the world’s largest consumer, using more than half of the world’s coal produced, according to the International Energy Agency.
President Xi Jinping has said he expects carbon emissions to continue rising until 2030.
‘CHOOSE THE PLANET’
Sharma, a 53-year-old former business minister, said he asked his daughters what to tell the world.
“Their response was simple: ‘please tell them to choose the planet,’” said Sharma.
“Since the signing of the Paris Agreement. The world has not done enough.” Now, to keep 1.5 degrees within reach, to keep 1.5 degrees alive, we need to halve global emissions by 2030. So this is the decisive decade. “
Climate activists say the world’s richest countries, the biggest polluters and most of the capitalist system are going far too slow to stop the most devastating effects of climate change, despite big public statements.
Sharma said all countries should set mid-century net zero goals. with concrete plans to reduce emissions by 2030.
“We therefore call on countries to commit to all new cars being zero emissions by 2040 or earlier,” he said, adding that sustainable finance would be a key objective of the summit.
Sharma said rich countries should respond to debt distress and support the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights process to support sustainable recoveries.
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