The following statement by UN Secretary-General António Guterres was issued today:
I am encouraged by the important announcements made today at the General Assembly by the leaders of the world’s two largest economies regarding their commitment to climate action.
I welcome President [Joseph R.] Biden’s announcement that the United States of America will significantly increase its international climate finance to approximately $11.4 billion a year. This increased contribution from the United States will bring developed countries closer to meeting their collective commitment to mobilize $100 billion a year in climate finance.
I also welcome the announcement made by President Xi [Jinping] that China will end all financing of coal fired power plants abroad and redirect its support to green and low-carbon energy. Accelerating the global phase out of coal is the single most important step to keep the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement within reach.
While today’s announcements are welcome, we still have a long way to go to make COP26 [twenty-sixth United Nations Conference on Climate Change] a success and ensure that it marks a turning point in our collective efforts to address the climate crisis.
Let us be reminded that based on the present emissions reduction commitments of Member States the world is on a catastrophic pathway to 2.7°C of heating. We need decisive action by all countries, especially the G20 [Group of 20], to go the extra mile and effectively contribute to emission reductions. All countries must bring their highest level of ambition to Glasgow if we are to keep the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement within reach.