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UN Chief Urges Rich Countries to Pay Pledges on Climate Action

World leaders address the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York City

The U.N. Secretary-General appealed Monday to developed nations to make good on their promise of $100 billion a year to support climate action in developing countries, ahead of a November climate review conference in Egypt.

“Funding for adaptation and resilience must represent at least half of all climate finance,” Antonio Guterres told reporters.

Ministers, climate experts and civil society representatives are meeting this week in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, to prepare the agenda for the November meeting, known as COP27, which will take place in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh from November 6 to 18.

The United Nations says G-20 countries account for 80% of global emissions, but they have been slow to deliver on their $100 billion annual pledge.

“Taken together, current pledges and policies are shutting the door on our chance to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius, let alone meet the 1.5-degree goal,” he said of the benchmarks set in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

The U.N. warns that failure to reach those goals would spell climate catastrophe.

“The world can’t wait,” he added. “Emissions are at an all-time high and rising.”

Guterres said every government, business, investor and institution must step up with concrete climate action plans.

“I am urging leaders at the highest level to take full part in COP27 and tell the world what climate action they will take nationally and globally,” the U.N. chief said.

U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry is among the leaders in Kinshasa this week.