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Guterres welcomes US steps to rejoin Paris Agreement

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres, has warmly welcomed US President Joe Biden’s steps to re-enter the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and join the growing coalition of governments, cities, states, businesses and people taking ambitious action to confront the climate crisis.

António Guterres
António Guterres. UN Secretary General

The UN Secretary-General, who made the submission said in a statement on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, state that, following last year’s Climate Ambition Summit, countries producing half of global carbon pollution had committed to carbon neutrality.

“Today’s commitment by President Biden brings that figure to two-thirds. But there is a very long way to go. The climate crisis continues to worsen, and time is running out to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and build more climate-resilient societies that help to protect the most vulnerable.

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“We look forward to the leadership of United States in accelerating global efforts towards net zero, including by bringing forward a new nationally determined contribution with ambitious 2030 targets and climate finance in advance of COP26 in Glasgow later this year.

“I am committed to working closely with President Biden and other leaders to overcome the climate emergency, and recover better from COVID-19,” said Guterres.

In a related development, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the University of Oxford will on Wednesday, January 27 launch the global results of the “Peoples’ Climate Vote”. The survey is said to be the biggest ever on public opinion on climate change and covers 50 countries and more than half of the world’s population over the age of 14.

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The innovative survey was distributed across mobile gaming apps in order to include hard-to-reach audiences in traditional polling, like young people under the age of 18. It asked people if they believe that climate change is a global emergency and the policies – across energy, economy, food and farms, transportation, protecting people, and nature – that they would like to see enacted. 

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