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UN seeks accelerated action for carbon neutrality ahead 2040 target

by Haruna Gimba

By Asmau Ahmad

The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has called on countries to take immediate and radical action to achieve global carbon neutrality by the 2040 target.

He expressed concerns over the closeness of the target year and over July’s hot temperatures report, which he described as terrible.

The UN chief said the temperature showed that the earth has passed from a warming phase into an era of global boiling.

Speaking in New York, Guterres described the intense heat across the Northern Hemisphere as a cruel summer.

“For the entire planet, it is a disaster. Short of a mini-Ice Age over the next few days, will shatter records across the board,” he said.

“Climate change is here. It is terrifying. And it is just the beginning. The era of global warming has ended; the era of global boiling has arrived,” he said.

The extreme impacts of climate change have been in line with scientists’ predictions and repeated warnings, Guterres said.

Referring to the fossil fuel sector, he said, “The air is unbreathable. The heat is unbearable. And the level of fossil fuel profits and climate inaction is unacceptable.”

According to the UN secretary-general, “Leaders must lead. No more hesitancy. No more excuses. No more waiting for others to move first.”

Speaking ahead of the Climate Ambition Summit set to host in September, Guterres called on developed countries to commit to achieving carbon neutrality as close to 2040 as possible, and for emerging economies as close as possible to 2050.

He noted that the destruction unleashed by humanity must not inspire despair, but action, and said that to prevent the worst outcomes humanity must turn a year of burning heat into a year of burning ambition.

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