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UN calls for swift zero carbon recovery action at climate summit

There is a 40% chance of annual average global temperature temporarily reaching 1.5 degrees Celsius in at least one of the next five years, cautions a WMO report

The United Nations made a call for coordinated action to secure global net-zero emissions and fulfill its goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels by 2050. 

The Climate Breakthroughs Summit — a collaboration between the World Economic Forum, Mission Possible Partnership, the United Nations Climate Champions, and the United Kingdom Climate Change Conference (COP26) Presidency — took place virtually May 27, 2021.

Climate leaders at the summit discussed progress in critical sectors of the global economy, including steel, shipping, green hydrogen as well as nature. One of its key campaigns is ‘Race to Zero’ campaign that mobilises support of 708 cities, 24 regions, 2,360 businesses, 163 investors, and 624 higher education institutions to move towards zero-carbon recovery for a sustainable future.

There were new joiners to ‘Race to Zero’, including Maersk, a Danish integrated shipping company, which committed to halving its emissions by 2030 in line with achieving the long-term goal of full decarbonisation under the Paris Agreement, 2015.

There is a 40 per cent chance of the annual average global temperature temporarily reaching 1.5 degrees Celsius in at least one of the next five years, and these odds will increase with time, according to a recent World Meteorological Organization report.

The event came in the backdrop of a Nature report, according to which, natural climate solutions have the potential to provide a third of the climate mitigation to reach a 1.5- or 2-degree pathway by 2030.

As many as 40 health care institutions worldwide have committed to halving emissions by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050. These 40 institutions represent more than 3,000 health care facilities in 18 countries.

“The only way to deliver the promise of the Paris Agreement is with immediate action. The Climate Action Pathways light the way for actors across the global economy to take the urgent next steps to halve emissions by 2030,” said Nigel Topping, United Nations High-Level Climate Champion for COP26, said.

The steps the world would take in the next five years would be critical to get us on the path to zero emissions in time, according to Gonzalo Munoz, UN High-Level Climate Champion for COP25.

“Only by collaborating aligned with science in wholesale systems transformation can we upgrade the sectors of our global economy to deliver a healthy, resilient, zero-carbon world,” he said.

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