By Amaya QuincocesMadrid, Nov 28 (EFE) .- Chilean Gonzalo Muñoz, “Champion” of the High Level of climate action at COP25, a world event held in Madrid a year ago after not being able to do it in Chile, says in an interview with Efe that trusts that “the new role” in the defense of the US climate, after the change of government, will give way to a phase of multilateralism “to advance and not weaken.”
“In no case, the coronavirus has slowed down climate action”, quite the opposite, adds this defender of sustainability, an entrepreneur at the head of the position of “Champion” or High-Level climate champion promoted by the UN, with temporary mandates , to mobilize companies, institutions, universities, cities … etc, through a Climate Ambition Alliance.
According to their figures, more than 500 cities, more than 1,100 companies and at least eight of the ten largest in the world, and more than 5 trillion dollars in financial assets are already committed to emission neutrality by 2050 in line with the Agreement on Paris, the great global pact for the climate of whose signature will be celebrated this December 12 the fifth anniversary.
QUESTION: This year was key to submitting more ambitious emission reduction commitments under the Paris Agreement. How is the coronavirus affecting climate action?
ANSWER: The fight against global warming continues to advance. It has been reflected at the national level, not only by the number of those that have updated their national contributions, but also because there are countries that have announced commitments to neutrality. We look forward to celebrating the Paris Agreement with lots of added commitments that will lead us to the Glasgow Summit (UK) in November 2021 with more progress.
Q: Through the Alliance for Climate Ambition launched in 2019 by the UN with the impulse of Chile as the organizing country of COP25, could you give us details of the climate action by non-state actors?
A: The Alliance for Climate Ambition brings together nations and non-state actors committed to climate neutrality by 2050. At COP25 the initiative was strengthened with a significant number of new members. In June, together with Briton Nigel Topping, the High Level Champion for COP26, we launched the Race to Zero campaign. Today we have in the Climate Ambition Alliance a significant number of states like California and New York, and the majority of Australians. Also from Brazil, from Europe. In addition, more than 500 cities, more than 1,100 companies from different sectors and regions. Of the ten largest companies in the world, at least eight are already part of this alliance. But at the same time, we have a significant number of SMEs in the world, and 550 universities. Additionally, more than $ 5 trillion in assets under management are committed to carbon neutrality by 2050. And all of that continues to grow. I have no doubt, vis-à-vis Glasgow, that many countries will increase their ambition, as the announcements from China, Japan confirm. It will also influence what the president-elect in the US assumes.
Q .: Are there new initiatives in defense of the climate?
A .: This year one of the milestones on the global climate agenda has been the launch of Race to Zero. In the area of non-state actors, which is what we are mobilizing with this campaign, the number of members has doubled during the pandemic. The increase in commitments is being impressive. Today, 53% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) is committed to carbon neutrality.
Q: Will the health crisis teach us about the effect on health caused by mistreatment of the environment?
A: The pandemic, in addition to generating a lot of pain and suffering, has shown us the possibility of doing things differently. For example, the energy transition has accelerated, fossil fuels are increasingly in disuse, and the development of photovoltaics or wind, in addition to green hydrogen projects. The commitments of the Paris Agreement have continued to advance. This year, Chile has updated its NDC or determined contributions in line with science, and China has surprised us by declaring that it will be climate neutral at the latest in 2060, while Japan will be in 2050, and South Korea, the same .
Q: What is your opinion from the climate point of view of the change of government in the United States?
A .: In addition to further acceleration of commitments within the country, I hope that it will engage the nation with emissions neutrality before 2050. I believe that Joe Biden as president-elect, based on his speech, is going to bring about an important change at the global level of climate action to comply with the Paris Agreement.
Q .: What challenges do you consider a priority for the Glasgow Summit?
A .: One of the great challenges has to do with financing; for example, for adaptation: how mechanisms are generated that increase the resilience of all parts of the world that suffer the impacts of the climate crisis. At the same time, put an adequate price on carbon in everything that refers to a ton emitted and a ton captured and sequestered. We must move towards an accessible market worldwide, so that the trade begins to incorporate this metric with a lot of speed to align the incentives throughout the value chain. Another pending goal is nature-based solutions; Next year we will have a biodiversity COP, and I hope that during 2021 the world will learn to value ecosystem services and all that nature means. Glasgow’s expectations will depend on the next few months, because a lot will still happen before that appointment.
Q .: What message would you send to the world on climate issues?
A .: It is important to enter a new phase of assessing and validating multilateralism taking into account the lessons learned. The United States must play an important role to help, strengthen, resolve, improve and perfect, rather than attack and weaken. We must move forward to improve from learning as hard as those of recent times. EFE
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| K: CYT: SCIENCE-TECHNOLOGY, ENVIRONMENT-NATURE |
| Q: MEA: en-ES: 06011000: Environment: Climate change |