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Use recovery from COVID-19 to tackle climate change: UN chief

(Xinhua)    09:42, September 10, 2020

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday urged countries to use recovery from COVID-19 to tackle climate change.

"We have a choice: business as usual, leading to further calamity; or we can use the recovery from COVID-19 to provide a real opportunity to put the world on a sustainable path," he told a joint press conference with the chief of the World Meteorological Organization for the launch of "United in Science 2020," a multi-agency report of the latest climate science.

"Our world remains off track -- far off track -- to meet the objective of the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. If things would remain as they are, we would go up 3 to 5 degrees above the pre-industrial level," he warned.

As the report emphasizes, short-term lockdowns in response to COVID-19 are no substitute for the sustained climate action needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, he said. "There is no time to delay if we are to slow the trend and limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. Climate action is the only way to ensure a liveable planet for this and future generations."

As the world works to tackle both the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis, he urged leaders to heed the facts in the report, unite behind the science and take urgent climate action.

Guterres called on governments to prepare new and ambitious national climate plans, the Nationally Determined Contributions, in advance of the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference.

"That is how we will build a safer, more sustainable future," he said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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