U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned governments that they would have to offer action plans to qualify to speak at the summit, which is aimed at boosting the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat global warming.
“Someone asked me the other day, ‘Doesn’t all of this make you despair?’ My answer was a clear and resounding, ‘No.’ I am hopeful and I am hopeful because of you. This is not a climate talk summit. We have had enough talk. Young people, above all, are here providing solutions, insisting on accountability and demanding urgent action. They are right. My generation has failed in its responsibility to protect our planet. That must change,” Guterres said at a climate action summit on Monday.
With climate impacts such as extreme weather, thawing permafrost and sea-level rise unfolding much faster than expected, scientists say the urgency of the crisis has intensified since the Paris accord was agreed.
Over the past year, Guterres has called for no new coal plants to be built after 2020, urged a phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies and asked countries to map out how to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
(Production: Roselle Chen)