World leaders will hold a closed climate summit at the UN

Pollution in Shanxi, China.

Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

  • World leaders will hold a closed meeting to discuss climate change.
  • It comes when the big climate summit COP26 will be held soon.
  • It is not yet clear how many countries will attend the meeting with closed doors.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will host a closed-door meeting with world leaders at the General Assembly’s sideline in New York on Monday to increase climate commitment.

The round table comes less than six weeks before a major UN climate summit, COP26, in Glasgow, which aims to ensure that the world meets its goal of keeping the centenary warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

A senior UN official said on Wednesday that leaders had held climate talks at the G7 and G20 over the past two years, but there had been no forum for leading economies to talk to the hardest-hit countries.

Asked why the meeting was closed, he said: “It is in no way intended to be a meeting in the shadows,” but a way to facilitate frank dialogue “rather than prepared statements or return to established positions.”

Virtual

The meeting will include leaders from the G20, as well as developing and small island nations, and will be both personal and virtual.

It is not yet known who or how many will participate, including deciding whether the leaders of the world’s two main polluters – Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Joe Biden – will participate.

Guterres has set three climate priorities. Firstly, the UN is asking countries to strengthen their commitments to reach zero emissions by 2050 under the Paris Agreement in 2015. Secondly, they want developed countries to fulfill a promise to raise a $ 100 billion climate fund.

Thirdly, they want a “significant breakthrough” in the financing of adaptation projects for hard-hit countries, to protect them against events such as droughts, floods and sea level rises. The UN wants adaptation funding to account for 50 percent of all climate funding.

The meeting comes as a new report from the World Resources Institute and Climate Analytic published on Thursday showed that the world is warming by 2.1 degrees Celsius at the end of the century under the countries’ current reduction commitments.

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