Local weather pledges from Asia ship ‘extraordinarily necessary’ sign: UN | China

The pledges by China, Japan and South Korea to reduce CO2 emissions to zero are important signs of leadership in the fight against climate change, says the climate chief.

China, Japan and South Korea’s pledges to reduce carbon emissions to zero are “extremely important” signs of leadership in revitalizing global efforts to combat climate change, the United Nations climate chief said.

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), welcomed Japan and South Korea’s announcements this week to aim for carbon neutrality by 2050 and China’s pledge in September to meet the target by 2060.

“These signals of very strong commitments from countries that are very important and have a real impact on global emissions levels are extremely important,” Espinosa said.

“And it’s also very important to realize that they come at a time when we need that type of leadership.”

Diplomats started 2020 in the hope that it would be a pivotal year for the implementation of a global agreement to slow down climate change brokered in Paris in 2015.

But the COVID-19 pandemic messed up those plans, forcing officials to postpone a major climate change conference that was scheduled in Glasgow in November for a year.

“Future for humanity”

Climate diplomacy was further overshadowed by US President Donald Trump’s move last year to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement.

This decision will take effect the day after the US presidential election on November 3rd – the earliest date the country could leave due to the way the pact was designed.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has pledged to return the United States to the Paris Agreement if he wins.

Espinosa said the Asia’s net-zero pledges had raised hopes that more countries would take bolder climate action.

“It really is an important contribution in bringing the international community into line to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement,” she said.

“And that means the future for humanity on this planet.”

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