To mark 5 years since the Paris Agreement, 75 world leaders gathered virtually on Saturday 12 December, together with members of civil society and the private sector, for the “Climate Ambition Summit 2020“.
Some countries pledged to increase their ambitions in reducing greenhouse gas emissions including the UK, the European Union, Argentina, Pakistan and Peru. But most of the 75 country leaders invited to speak had very limited ambitions and those from Brazil, Russia and Australia were not invited to speak because their ambitions were too small.
And even after new pledges, rich countries risk failing to meet the target set in the Paris Agreement to mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poor nations deal with the worst impacts of climate change.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that all governments should declare a state of climate emergency until the world has reached net zero CO2 emissions. Declaring an emergency would require countries to step up their actions on greenhouse gas emissions urgently. But G20 countries are spending 50% more in their stimulus packages on fossil fuels and CO2-intensive sectors than they are on low-CO2 energy as they try to recover from the recession caused by COVID.
Countries’ level of ambition should increase between three- and five-fold to deliver on the Paris pledge to try and limit warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, according to the United Nations Emissions Gap Report.
The event was co-convened by the United Nations, the United Kingdom and France in partnership with Chile and Italy.