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UN climate summit registers new carbon-cutting pledges

(EurActiv, 14 Dec 2020) More than 70 heads of state showed stronger climate action at a virtual summit, but heavy lifting remains in 2021 to meet the ambition of Paris. EURACTIV’s media partner, Climate Home News, reports.

As 2020 comes to a close, world leaders have sent a signal of their willingness to step up their climate ambition, at a virtual event celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement.

75 world leaders along with the European Union and Pope Francis presented tougher carbon-cutting plans and commitments to adapt to climate impacts in a six-hour marathon event.

In total, 45 countries presented strengthened 2030 climate plans, with Japan and South Korea promising more ambitious targets next year. 24 leaders promised to cut emissions to net zero and 20 nations announced stronger adaptation and resilience plans.

While progress was made, a lot more is expected from countries to close the gap between the current level of ambition and what is needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals. Support for vulnerable nations to scale up their ambition at a time when Covid-19 has left them deep in debt was largely absent.

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EurActiv, 14 Dec 2020: UN climate summit registers new carbon-cutting pledges