As the World Leaders Summit opened on day two of COP26, UN chief António Guterres sent a stark message to the international community.
“We are digging our own graves”, he said, referring to the addiction to fossil fuels which threatens to push humanity and the planet, to the brink, through unsustainable global heating.
It was a grey and windy morning, as dozens of world leaders arrived at the Scottish Event Campus, of the key United Nations climate conference, in the city of Glasgow.
Since 6.30am, long lines of people gathered at the gates to get their accreditations, and pass through tight security, which included presenting proof of negative COVID-19 tests.
Journalists from all over the world set to work side by side in the event halls, armed with a host of microphones, cameras, lights and recording equipment.
The stage was set to hear from Heads of State as COP26 got underway, including the co-host:
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson, of the United Kingdom,
- US President Joe Biden,
- French President Emmanuel Macron,
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
- European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
- and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“We want the Heads of State to be real leaders, and for them to ignite change and step up during COP26”, Juan Pablo Sierra, a young climate activist from NGO United for Climate Action, told UN News just before the ceremony started.
The UN chief called for greater ambition on mitigation and immediate concrete action to reduce global emissions by 45 per cent by 2030; an effort that should be led by developed countries.
“G20 countries have a particular responsibility as they represent around 80 per cent of emissions”, he said, making clear however, that emerging economies must also go the extra mile.
“We need maximum ambition, from all countries on all fronts to make Glasgow a success”, he added, according UN News.
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