GG News Bureau
UNITED NATIONS, 22nd May. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Sunday called the G7 countries bloc of industrialized democracies to demonstrate global leadership and solidarity on climate change as he was speaking to journalists in Hiroshima, which he described as a “global symbol of the tragic consequences when nations fail to work together”, and abandon multilateralism.
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Great Britain and the United States, along with EU gathered for G7 summit in Hiroshima a place Mr. Guterres described, as a “testament to the human spirit”.
“Whenever I visit, I am inspired by the courage and resilience of the Hibakusha”, he said.
He referred to the survivors of that dreadful act of stomic war. “The UN stands with them. We will never stop pushing for a world free of nuclear weapons.”
Mr. Guterres said his message to the G7 leaders was clear and simple: “while the economic picture is uncertain everywhere, rich countries cannot ignore the fact that more than half the world the vast majority of countries are suffering through a deep financial crisis.”
He reiterated his view first expressed in an official visit to Jamaica last week, that the problems facing developing countries had three dimensions; moral, power-related, and practical.
Mr. Guterres elaborated on the “systemic and unjust bias” in the global economic and financial system; the outdated of the global financial architecture; and the fact that even within the current rules, developing economies had been let down and sold short; the UN chief said the G7 had a duty now to act.
He said the financial system created by the Breton Woods realignment post World War Two, had simply “failed to fulfill its core function as a global safety net”, in the face of the economic shocks from COVID, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
SG said the time had come to fix the Breton Woods system, and reform the UN Security Council.
“This is essentially a question of redistributing power in line with the realities of today’s world.”
He said the G7 can no longer be a bystander: “In our multi polar world, as geopolitical divisions grow, no country or group of countries can stand by as billions of people struggle with the basics of food, water, education, healthcare and jobs.”
Mr. Guterres highlighted the perils of overlooking the pace of climate change, he outlined the specific areas where the world richest were central to the success of climate action.
He noted the current projections show humankind heading for a temperature rise of 2.8°C by the end of this century, he told journalists, and the next five years are likely to be the hottest ever, according to latest figures from the UN weather agency.
He said the G7, with its huge economic and financial clout, was “central to climate action”, which is working, “but not enough and we are clearly off track”.
“Our Acceleration Agenda aims to make up for lost time. It calls for all G7 countries to reach net zero as close as possible to 2040, and for emerging economies to do so as close as possible to 2050.”
He reiterated that a Climate Solidarity Pact calls for the G7 to mobilize resources to support less well-off economies in accelerating decarbonization to stay within the 1.5° limit on heating, compared with pre-industrial levels.
“This requires faster timelines to phase out fossil fuels and ramp up renewables. It means putting a price on carbon and ending fossil fuel subsidies. I call on the G7 to phase out coal completely by 2030”, he stated.
He stressed a call for climate justice, on behalf of the countries who have done the least to cause the crisis, but are suffering the most.
“We must ramp up adaptation and early warning systems to help communities on the front lines…It’s high time for developed countries to provide the promised $100 billion per year”, he added.
He reiterated that the Loss and Damage Fund agreed in Sharm el-Sheikh, during COP27 last year, “must be operationalized.”