The head of the UN has announced the appointment of an expert panel to examine the agencies’ efforts to combat climate change.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “the government has the lion’s share of responsibility for achieving net zero emissions by the middle of the century,” adding that this is especially true for the 20 major emerging and industrialized economies that account for 80%. Greenhouse gas emissions.
“But we urgently need to discuss every business, investor, city, state and region in their net-zero commitment,” he said.
The 16-member panel will recommend before the end of the year the standards and definitions of net-zero targeting, how progress can be measured and verified, and ways to translate it into international and national regulations.
In addition to examining the private sector’s net-zero commitment, it will also examine commitments made by local and regional governments that do not report directly to the UN but will not “name and shame” individual companies, says UN climate envoy Selwyn Hart.
The panel includes prominent Australian climate scientist Bill Hare, South Africa-based sustainable finance expert Malango Mughogho and former longtime governor of the People’s Bank of China Zhou Jiaochuan.
McKenna urged businesses not to view the Net-Zero promise as “getting out of jail-free cards” and said he supported the idea of incorporating all emissions from the company’s products into the new standards.
An outside expert called the creation of the new panel “extremely stable”, noting that goals such as “Net Zero” are interpreted differently by companies and executives.
Think tanks have recently reviewed a number of large companies and found “a number of complex issues with net-zero commitment, many of which are confusing customers, regulators and shareholders,” said Harry Firenehoff, a policy analyst at the Nuclimate Institute.
Nonprofit Carbon Market Watch’s Giles Dufrasne also welcomed the new UN expert group, but called for it to issue clear and meaningful recommendations.
“Just like the goals it aims to control, this group needs to go from word to action and provide strict standards that end green washing,” he said.
A report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last month found that more than three billion people worldwide were already at risk of global warming.
The panel will release another report next week that will confirm that the world is not on track to meet its goal of 1.5 degree Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) temperature rise by the end of the century, which was set in 2015. Paris Climate Agreement.
“If we don’t see significant and sustainable emissions declines in this decade, the window of opportunity to keep 1.5 alive will be closed – forever,” Guterres said. “And it will be a disaster for everyone.”
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