UN climate chief: Don’t give in to despair over global warming | Economic news

By FRANK JORDANS, Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — Nations must remain hopeful and focused on tackling global warming despite many current obstacles to international cooperation — including the war in Ukraine, the coronavirus pandemic, food shortages and rising costs. energy, urged the UN’s climate chief on Monday.

Patricia Espinosa, whose second term as head of the United Nations climate office ends this year, spoke at the start of a 10-day meeting in Bonn, Germany, where diplomats from around the world will try to lay the groundwork for this year’s international climate summit. in Egypt.

“I call on all of you, especially in these trying and difficult times, not to lose hope, not to lose focus, but to use our united efforts against climate change as the ultimate act of unity between nations” , she said.

Since the signing of the Paris climate accord in 2015, most countries have stepped up their efforts to reduce the greenhouse gases that underlie man-made global warming. But collectively, these promises are still far short of what is needed to limit global warming since pre-industrial times to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) by the end of the century.

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While Espinosa said “a lot more” was needed, she noted that the commitments so far had also been made during a time of international turmoil – since the US decision under President Donald Trump to withdraw from the EU. Paris agreement, later canceled by the Biden administration. — the early years of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We must never give in to despair,” she said, joining a chorus of scientists and policymakers who reject climate doomism. “We have to keep moving forward. Look at what we’ve accomplished over the past six years.

Many of the main issues that delegates gathered in Bonn will try to resolve in the coming days relate to financial assistance to poor countries struggling to cope with the effects of climate change. Espinosa made it clear that she expects leaders to provide their delegates with the support needed to agree soon on what she described as a “balanced package”.

“We need to understand that climate change is moving exponentially. We can no longer afford to make only incremental progress,” she said. “We need to move these negotiations forward faster. The world is waiting for him.”

Representatives of the group of 46 least developed countries have demanded that big polluters such as China and the United States further reduce emissions and pay for the damage already caused by climate change.

“Countries that have far more responsibility and capacity than ours must fill the funding gap so that when the impacts of climate change hit – when homes and hospitals are swept away, when crops are destroyed, when islands sink and when entire communities are displaced – the costs don’t land on already vulnerable households,” said the group’s chairperson, Madeleine Diouf Sarr from Senegal.

Follow AP’s coverage of climate change at https://apnews.com/hub/climate

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Teresa H. Sadler