Axel Hofmann,
Martina Herzog

last updated Tue, May 2, 2023 4:37 PM

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UN chief urges 'quantum leap in climate action' worldwide

By Axel Hofmann, Martina Herzog
| Updated 16:37 02/05/2023
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United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has called for the world to make "a quantum leap in climate action," addressing a lead-up conference to the COP28 climate meeting hosted by the German Foreign Office on Tuesday.

"We know that the 1.5 degree pathway is possible," Guterres told participants of the 14th edition of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin in a video message.

Referring to one of the goals in the Paris Climate Agreement - preventing global warming from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius - Guterres said this requires developed countries and international financial institutions to deliver "on long-overdue finance," and "breaking our fossil fuel addiction," among other things.

Representatives from some 40 countries are among the attendees of the two-day conference held in Germany annually since 2010, this time to prepare the United Nation's COP28 climate change conference set to take place in Dubai in November.

In her opening remarks on Tuesday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock painted a more optimistic picture, saying she believes industrialized nations will keep their long-standing promise to financially support poorer states.

"The good news is that as things stand now, we are on a path to finally reach the $100 billion figure this year," she said, referring to an annual amount that richer nations originally pledged.

Germany has already pledged to increase its own contribution to at least €6 billion ($6.6 billion), said Baerbock.

However, trillions of dollars are needed for climate protection and adaptation to increasing global warming, she added. "Public funds alone will not be able to cover this need. That is why it is important to mobilize massive private funds as well."

Together with the US, Germany is working for reforms at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, the minister said. "We want to make climate financing an integral part of the World Bank's business model."

The Petersberg Climate Dialogue was launched by Germany's former chancellor Angela Merkel as an annual lead-up meeting to the COP conferences. The name derives from the Petersburg hill in the western city of Bonn, where the first meeting took place.


German News Service

Antonio Guterres

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