‘Not enough’ climate ambition shown by leaders [BBC NEWS, 13/12/20]

The UK minister tasked with leading UN climate talks says world leaders are failing to show the necessary level of ambition.

Alok Sharma was speaking at the conclusion of a virtual climate summit organised by the UK, UN and France.

He said “real progress” had been made and 45 countries had put forward new climate plans for 2030.

But these were not enough to prevent dangerous warming this century, Mr Sharma explained.

Taking place on the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate agreement, the summit heard the UN Secretary General warn that every country needed to declare a climate emergency.

Around 70 heads of state and government took part in the meeting, which was organised by the UK, UN and France. They outlined new pledges and commitments to curb carbon.

China’s contribution was eagerly awaited, not just because it is the world’s biggest emitter, but because it has recently promised to reach net zero emissions by 2060.

Achieving net zero means that emissions have been cut as much as possible and any remaining releases are balanced by removing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere.

But while President Xi Jinping outlined a range of new targets for 2030, many analysts felt these did not go far enough.

India brought little in the way of new commitments but Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country was on track to achieve its goals under the Paris agreement and promised a major uptick in wind and solar energy.

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