The head of the United Nations says he’s “disappointed” with efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and the world’s most polluting countries should accept that they, too, need to become carbon neutral by 2050.
But the European Union’s initiative of a “green pact” could make the bloc of 28 countries a world champion to push other big polluters in the same direction, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres told The Associated Press on the first of 12 days of talks in Madrid aimed at increasing action against climate change.
“I’m convinced that Europe will be in a position to negotiate with China, with India, with the United States, with Russia in a way that will allow all to understand that this must be a collective effort and that they all will have to correct their policies in order to be able to drastically reduce the emissions,” Guterres said.
He also said that the “addiction to coal” in parts of Asia could undermine climate action.
“Our strong recommendation is for countries to think seriously before building new coal power plants and for those that can do it to start phasing out the old ones,” he said.