UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told Sputnik that his next vehicle will be electric.
“We don’t need big cars,” Guterres shared. “My next car will be an electric car. For the moment, I have a car, a traditional one, that’s quite old, but it’s small. We don’t need big cars.”
Guterres went on saying that the governments should take measures that help citizens make the right choices.
“For instance, if you shift taxation from income to carbon, that will influence the behavior of consumers. If you end subsidies to fossil fuels and use that money to promote social security, universal health coverage or whatever, that again improves the behavior of people,” he said.
Guterres stressed that each one person has a responsibility to reduce their carbon footprint.
“It has been difficult for most of us to understand that we also need to change a few things in our lives. And it’s possible. Some of the changes are relatively simple,” he went on to say. “We can have a healthy diet that also contributes to climate action and that is savory that we like.”
Additionally, efforts should be made to hold meetings online as much as possible and reduce traveling “to what is absolutely essential.”
“So there are many things that we can do in our life in the way we behave, in the way we relate with the others, in which we can all contribute to climate action,” the UN chief said, adding that “we are not yet there.”
Guterres noted that if the present commitments that were made — the so-called Nationally Determined Contributions — would be implemented at current pace, there will be a temperature rise in the end of the century of 2.7 degrees, “which means a catastrophic situation for the world.”
“So, a lot must be done between now and the COP to increase the financial support of developed countries to developing countries, in which we are far from what was promised in Paris, and it’s essential to be done; to increase the amount of this climate finance at the disposal of developing countries for adaptation, for building resilience of their communities, their infrastructure, because they are already suffering the dramatic impacts of climate, and also to ask those countries that still foresee an increase in emissions, especially, some emerging economies, to make an extra mile of effort in order for us to be able globally to reduce emissions in the next decade by 45% in relation to 2010 in 2030, and to reach carbon neutrality in the middle of the century,” Guterres concluded.
Guterres at the opening of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday called on the global community to accelerate response to the COVID-19 pandemic and meet targets on climate.
The UN chief also stressed it was time to end wars on each other and commit to peace fighting the common enemy – the pandemic.
The new session of the UN General Assembly starts on Tuesday. The high-level week of the assembly will be held September 21-27.
US President Joe Biden plans to virtually convene the Global COVID-19 Summit: Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better on the margins of the UN General Assembly on September 22.
Between October 31 and November 12, the United Nations will convene the Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland.