UN summit: Only for pioneers - China, USA, Japan stayed out

With 70 days to go before COP28, it’s becoming clear what ideas and strategies countries advocating for more climate action intend to present. At the “Climate Ambition Summit“, part of the UN General Assembly UNGA78 convened by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the main points are emerging.

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The Secretary-General Antonio Guteress (r.) with Nawaf al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Prime Minister, State of Kuwait.

Guterres made it clear that he would only allow government leaders to speak if they presented new and far-reaching climate action proposals. From over 100 applications for the three-minute speaking slots, his team, after lengthy internal discussions, compiled a list of 34 states and seven non-state actors at the last minute.
It was also noteworthy who was not on the list: neither major polluters like the USA, China, Russia, Indonesia, Japan nor traditional pioneering countries like the UK, Norway and Sweden.
Guterres reiterated his calls for a global “solidarity pact” and an “acceleration agenda” for global climate action. Industrialized countries should become climate-neutral by 2040 and provide more funding to help poorer countries with the necessary transition. This includes measures such as a coal phase-out by 2030 in industrialized countries, an end to fossil fuel subsidies and no new gas and oil projects.
Despite all the agreement, it’s clear that the front of pioneers is not united. A statement from the “High Ambition Coalition” (HAC), which called for a rapid exit from fossil fuels, a rapid expansion of renewables and “solidarity” in mobilizing “trillions” for climate financing the day before, received support from only 17 government leaders, including those from France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Palau and Kenya. Chancellor Olaf Scholz did not sign the document, even though Germany has traditionally been a significant supporter of the HAC.
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  • Patrick Kiash

    37 w

    The global solidarity pact is very important, sad to see big countries are not 100% devoted.

    • Tabitha Kimani

      38 w

      The absence of high polluters in such high level discussions speaks volumes about their commitment to accelerate climate change actions.


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