UN demands guarantee that UK will not break net-zero commitments
UN Secretary-General António Guterres will seek assurances from the UK that it will not backtrack on its climate pledges after Rishi Sunak's opposition to environmental measures.
The United Nations is concerned that countries could backtrack on their commitments to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
Senior United Nations officials have called on countries to put aside geopolitical tensions to make progress in tackling the climate crisis at the crucial Cop28 climate change summit, which begins in Dubai on November 30.
Under-Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said the United Nations was "absolutely" concerned about backtracking because it had "many" climate commitments. Countries made commitments at the Cop27 summit in Egypt last year and at the landmark Cop26 summit in Glasgow in 2021, where the 1.5 degree limit was reiterated.
Many countries appear to have been reeling from their failure to expand access to fossil fuels or set tough targets after the invasion of Ukraine. In the UK, the Prime Minister said the legally binding target of net-zero emissions by 2050 remains in force, but recent measures such as delaying the phase-out of petrol cars and gas boilers have meant that the UK There are doubts as to whether it will be implemented.
In the United States, Joe Biden has approved new oil and gas development despite taking a strong stance on the climate crisis. The EU has also recently failed to strengthen its emissions reduction commitments, currently set at 55% below 1990 levels by 2030, and China and India continue to invest in coal.