India and China are “strongly committed” to the leadership in fighting climate change and ensuring they do not suffer its “devastating” impacts at a time when others are “failing”, the UN has said.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the UN has a “very solid commitment” for climate action, pointing out that African nations were the biggest victims of the globally changing weather patterns.
“Of the largest economies of the world, the two largest economies of the G77 are strongly committed to the leadership in climate action - and I refer to China and India,” Guterres said on the occasion of handover ceremony of the Chairmanship of the ‘Group of 77 (G77) and China’ in New York yesterday.
Egypt took over the chairmanship of the group from Ecuador.
“In a moment when others are failing, I see the largest economies of the Group of 77 and China to be assuming the leadership in climate action to make sure that we don’t suffer the dramatic and devastating impacts of climate change, as unfortunately we are already witnessing and things will get much worse if we are not able to defeat this threat,” Guterres said.
The G77 is the largest inter-governmental organisation of developing countries in the UN. Established on June 15, 1964, the group today has 134 members including India, the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
“We cannot be defeated by climate change and we are not yet winning this battle,” Guterres said.
“It is clear to me that the biggest victims of climate change are members of the G77, namely African countries affected by drought or small island countries affected by the kind of hurricanes that we have seen or the rising levels of waters,” he said.
The UN chief had on May 31 last year warned the world leaders that the impact of climate change could affect food production, water security and weather patterns “from Canada to India“.
Stating that the “world is in a mess” he had urged the international community to “stay the course” even if one government does not believe in the emissions-cutting deal.
Two days later, US President Donald Trump had announced America’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.
India had joined the landmark Paris agreement on tackling climate change in 2016.
Arguing that countries like China and India were benefiting the most from the Paris Agreement, Trump had said that the agreement on climate change was unfair to the US, as it badly hit its businesses and jobs.
The Paris Climate Agreement is a pact within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.
According to the agreement, each country determines, plans and regularly reports its own contribution it should make in order to mitigate global warming.