Mr. Guterres was addressing the UN Group of Friends on Climate, created by France and Morocco ahead of COP21 in order to foster global commitment to climate action.
The Decade of Action begins, said the UN chief, with efforts to ensure that the next UN climate conference, set to take place in Glasgow in November, is a success, following the “disappointment” of COP25.
“70 countries committed to carbon neutrality by 2050, including the European Union, but also many that have contributed least to the problem”, said Mr. Guterres. “That number represents less than one fourth of global emissions. We must make this commitment universal”.
Positive private sector signs
Despite the mixed political messages, Mr. Guterres said he took heart from the proactive reaction to the climate emergency from the private sector, which has seen many parts of the financial world taking part in initiatives to encourage sustainable development.
An example is the Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance, a UN-supported coalition of businesses worth trillions of dollars that will cooperate across borders, and even with competitors, to mobilize long-term finance.