The world needs a global partnership to beat COVID-19, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and address climate change, said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
In a video message for the opening day of the 2021 P4G summit in Seoul, Guterres said that if governments embrace together the goals of phasing out coal, enhancing climate commitments, and investing in the Global Goals, there is an opportunity to rise to ‘the biggest challenge of our lives’.
Guterres warned that there is no global partnership if some are left “struggling to survive” and said that this was true for COVID and the distribution of vaccines as well as the climate emergency.
He stressed that if governments embrace the same goals, there will be an opportunity for a real partnership that will equip us to “rise to the biggest challenge of our lives”.
The Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G) event aims to boost market-based partnerships and rally high-level political and private sector action. It brings together Heads of State, CEOs, and civil society leaders around a shared action agenda to mobilize investments for tangible impact.
Guterres expressed that although there are commitments to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, there is “still much to do” to close the emissions gap and achieve the SDGs.
He reaffirmed his call to all main emitters to present new Nationally Determined Contributions, commit to net zero emissions by 2050, and, ‘most importantly’, put in place policies and programs towards achieving that goal.
“Tackling climate change head-on will help protect the most vulnerable people from the next crisis while sustaining a job-rich recovery from the pandemic”, he said, reminding that the first priority right now is stopping plans for new coal plants and phase-out of coal use by 2040.