UN chief tasks G20 leaders on climate action, sustainable development


By Cecilia Ologunagba

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, has appealed to world leaders attending the ongoing two-day G20 summit in India to come together to solve humanity’s biggest challenges.

The UN chief is attending G20 summit with the theme of” One Earth, One Family, One Future”.

Guterres said global leadership was especially needed in two priority areas – climate action and sustainable development – to solve humanity’s biggest challenges.

Guterres, who made the call at a news conference, said “we had no time to lose,” noting that challenges stretch as far as the eye can see.”

He warned that the world was in a difficult transitional moment, faced with rising inequality and poverty and hunger levels and yet a distinct lack of global solidarity.

“We cannot go on like this. We must come together and act together for the common good,” he said in a statement.

Guterres noted that G20 member countries were the world’s major producers of greenhouse gases, responsible for 80 per cent of total global emissions, and therefore needed to demonstrate greater leadership on climate action.

“Leadership means keeping the 1.5-degree goal alive; rebuilding trust based on climate justice; and advancing a just and equitable transition to a green economy.”

He added that leadership also meant wealthier countries finally delivering on their long-standing funding commitments to help developing countries meet their targets for reducing emissions, such as through the Green Climate Fund.

The secretary-general said leaders must also take concrete action to ensure the world achieves the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on schedule by 2030.

Guterres said that “together, these actions would catalyze SDG progress and help developing economies invest in key transitions across energy, food systems, digital, education, health, decent jobs and social protection.”

He added that significant progress towards the Goals was still within reach so long as there was goodwill from all countries, regions and groups.

According to him, “we must act together as one family to save our one Earth and safeguard our future.” (NAN)