UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

UN Secretary António Guterres has said the 24th Conference of Parties climate change conference, taking place in Katowice, Poland from December 3, must succeed.

Guterres made the remarks during a press briefing at the beginning of G20 meeting of industrialised nations in Buenos Aires.

He pointed out that the implications of anything otherwise could not be contemplated.

The UN chief also stressed that global temperature must be brought to below two degrees.

He said: “Katowice must succeed; we need to build in Katowice the momentum that is necessary for an increased ambition to be shown by the international community when in 2020 the commitments made in Paris will be renewed.

“This is in order to make sure that we are able to bring the increase of temperature in the world until the end of the century to clearly below two degrees and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees.

“Political will is lacking. That is why it’s so important to come here and to express to political leaders how important it is for everybody to understand that, this is a make it or break it moment, in relation to guaranteeing that the Paris Agreement is implemented.”

At COP 24, the “Work Programme” or rule book of the 2015 Paris Agreement – when practically all countries signed up to a pledge to ensure global temperatures do not rise by more than two degrees before the end of this century – is expected to be agreed.

The UN chief described the event as an essential forum, citing a lack of confidence and high level of confrontation within the international community, as well as mistrust between nations and the risk of confrontation and escalation.

Guterres said there was a lack of trust between peoples in general and institutions everywhere, both at a national level – in the form of governments and parliaments – and internationally; because globalisation has divided the world into winners and losers.

He said: “Those left out feel angry, they feel frustrated that many times there was not enough effort from their government or from international organisations like the UN, in order to attend their problems and to attend their difficulties in the rustbelts of this world.

“I think it is very important for countries to come together and to have a common strategy for a fair globalisation.”

Guterres said the world’s largest economies, such as the G20 group, must support the UN’s 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, which was developed precisely to ensure a fair globalisation and aimed to eradicate poverty and address a wide range of governance problems worldwide.

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