UN chief wants US climate pledges, engagement in negotiations


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that he wants concrete Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) from Washington and strong US engagement in international negotiations on climate change.

The UN chief will meet virtually with John Kerry, US President Joe Biden’s climate envoy, on Friday to follow up on the US return to the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Guterres said at a press encounter that the US announcement to rejoin the Paris Agreement is very important in itself. In addition, a number of measures have been taken by the US administration in different aspects related to energy and other climate-related issues, he said.

Guterres also welcomed the announcement that the United States would restart its financial support to the developing world regarding climate change.

There are two fundamental contributions from the US: the first is the presentation of Nationally Determined Contributions, and the second is Washington’s strong engagement in the international negotiations that are necessary for the success of the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, in November 2021, said Guterres.

“We must build a global coalition for net-zero (emissions),” Guterres said. “We must guarantee to the developing world that the promises that were made in Paris will be met.”

In all these aspects, the US is the largest economy in the world, can play an extremely important role, and the technological capacity of the US will be very important and will substantially change the possibility of a successful negotiation for the conference in Glasgow, he said.

Asked about the damage on US and global climate action as a result of the climate-hostile policies of the previous US administration led by Donald Trump, Guterres said there was no contribution from the US government under Trump. But he commended the efforts of the American society.