World is ‘not on track’ with Paris agreement: Antonio Guterres

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WELLINGTON:  Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General, on a brief South Pacific tour in New Zealandon May 12, warned that the world was “not on track” to limiting global temperature rises.

Guterres said that international political determination was diminishing and the small island nations, which are on verge, will suffer the most. On the failure to limit rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial revolution levels, Gutrerres said, “We are seeing everywhere a clear demonstration that we are not on track to achieve the objectives defined in the Paris agreement.”

In a joint press conference in Auckland with Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, Guterres said, “And the paradox is, that as things are getting worse on the ground, political moves seem to be fading.” However, he did excuse New Zealand from his accusation, describing Wellington’s leadership as ‘extremely important’ after it introduced legislation to become carbon neutral by 2050, although greenhouse gas emissions from its economically vital agricultural sector will not have to meet the commitment.

Ardern added that the climate change is the biggest challenge faced by the international community and said it would be “gross negligence” to avoid the issue.

Guterres, during his three-day-visit in New Zealand will also meet with Muslim leaders in Christchurch to show solidarity following the March 15 massacre in which a lone gunman who attacked two mosques during Friday prayers killed 51 people.

(With inputs from Urban Update)