June, 2019

Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting: ‘The situation is urgent’

Peter Graham

The United Nations Secretary General, together with the Government of the United Arab Emirates, is hosting an important climate meeting that begins in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. This gathering of government ministers – together with leaders from the business, indigenous and civil society communities – has attracted little fanfare outside of the climate policy world – as it is seen merely as a preparatory meeting for the Secretary-General’s Climate Summit happening later in the year. But make no mistake, this meeting marks a critical milestone in the global struggle against climate change.

We can expect Secretary General António Guterres to deliver a set of challenging marching orders to the participants at the Emirates Palace in the search for solutions of a scale commensurate with the challenge of climate change. The situation is urgent. In many major economies, emissions continue to grow and time is running out for us to take the action needed to keep the rise in global temperature below 2 degrees – the goal set by the Paris Agreement.

Unfortunately, the current commitments that countries have made to reduce emissions will not achieve this goal and, in fact, are leading us to a world that will be at least 3 degrees warmer by the end of the century. On top of this, the finance that’s needed to help developing countries reduce their emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change has not yet come close to the US$100 billion a year promised by the developed world.

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