UN Chief Says 2021 Is a 'Make or Break' Year to Confront World Climate Emergency

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius, we must cut global emission by 45 percent by 2030 from 2010 levels.

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said that 2021 is a "make or break" year to challenge the global climate emergency. He said this while commenting on an interim report from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was released earlier this week.

Guterres said, "The science is clear, to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius, we must cut global emission by 45 percent by 2030 from 2010 levels."

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The Goal

The UNFCC has released the initial Nationally Determined Contributions Synthesis Report which measures the progress of the national climate action strategies before the 26th session of the Conference of its Parties (COP26)—which is supposed to take place in Glasgow, November 2021.

The report urged the countries to embrace more ambitious plans to reach the Paris Agreement goals, as well as to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, by the end of this century.

Guterres called this report a "red alert" for the world and asked the global leaders and to "step up".

"The major emitters must step up with much more ambitious emissions reductions targets for 2030 in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) well before the November UN Climate Conference in Glasgow," said the UN chief.

According to him, the time has come and the global alliance committed to net-zero emissions by 2050 is growing, across governments, cities, regions, businesses, investors and civil society. "Covid-19 recovery plans offer the opportunity to build back greener and cleaner," he added.

"Decision-makers must walk the talk," said Guterres. He also added that the long-term commitments must be matched by immediate actions to launch the decade of transformation which is the requirement of the people and the planet.

The initial UNFCCC report covered the submissions from several countries around the world up to last year December 31. According to the submissions, 75 parties to the Framework Convention communicated an updated or completely new NDC, representing around 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

However, this report doesn't clearly show the "full picture" owing to the challenges in submission posed by the Coronavirus pandemic. The UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said that another report will be released before the beginning of COP26.

She called on all countries, specifically major emitters that have not yet done to make their submissions as soon as possible—it will help to update the report with the additional information.