UN chief urges action on climate change as Trump debates

UN chief urges action on climate change as Trump debates

"The sustainability train has left the station", Guterres said. "Those who fail to bet on the green economy will be living in a grey future". Still, the United States remains the world's second largest emitter of carbon dioxide.

The U.S. has agreed to reduce its emissions by 2025 to 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels - about 1.6 billion tons.

"It is absolutely essential that the world implements the Paris Agreement [on climate change] - and that we fulfil that duty with increased ambition", he underscored, recalling the ground-breaking agreement that entered into force last November.

"China will stand by its responsibilities on climate change", Li told reporters in Berlin, according to a German translation, adding it was standing by its worldwide responsibilities and also setting national targets.

Mr Guterres was asked for his view on reports that Mr Trump was ready to pull the U.S. out of the Paris deal, to which he replied: "When you disagree with someone, you try to convince that person, no?"

"I strongly encourage the president to remain in the Paris climate accord", Buchanan said in a statement.

In his first major speech on climate change since he assumed charge as the head of the United Nations this January, the United Nations secretary-general said the "world is in a mess" and urged the global community to "stay the course" even if one government does not believe in the emissions-cutting deal.

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When asked about a possible US exit, Guterres said the United Nations was "engaging with the American administration".

Even if Trump withdraws, Guterres said, "it's very important for US society as a whole - the cities, the states, the companies, the businesses - to remain engaged".

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, speaks at a conference in London.

Guterres did not specifically mention Donald Trump in the speech, but said his "door is open to all who wish to discuss the way forward, even those who might hold divergent perspectives". "The climate conversation should cease to be a shouting match".

Laying out a five-point action plan to mobilise the world for climate action, the United Nations chief said he will intensify political engagement with countries to increase efforts to limit temperature rise to well below 2 degree-Celsius and as close as possible to 1.5 degree-Celsius, the first point.

In a 32-word plea to the president, who signed an executive order that upends the efforts to shift to clean power and whose budget guts funding to the EPA, Buchanan urged Trump to stay in the agreement.

"As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change puts it: "Human influence on the climate system is clear".

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Highlighting the seriousness of the impact of climate change, Guterres said the effects of climate change were risky and they were accelerating.

"The effects of climate change are unsafe and they are accelerating".

But Cohn, Trump's chief White House economic adviser, told reporters during the trip overseas that the president's views on climate change were "evolving" following the discussions with European leaders. He has spent his first months in office working to delay and roll back federal regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions while pledging to revive long-struggling US coal mines.

"I haven't asked him", Spicer said.

Guterres underscored that the science behind climate change "is beyond doubt". Local governments, civil organizations, and especially businesses - whose energy investments will stall or propel the low-carbon economy- all have an important role to play.

Speaking to an audience of students, civil society and business leaders at New York University, Guterres delivered his subtle pitch to the US administration, which has said a decision about whether to stay in the 2015 agreement will come soon.

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Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel also blasted the USA , saying the Trump administration's "short-sighted policies". Speaking at a news briefing after Mr Trump's tweet , Mr Spicer said: "They get along very well".

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