A lack of financing risks scuppering the ambitious but vital climate goals agreed in Paris in 2015, leading officials warned.
Alok Sharma, the president of the 2021 UN climate conference known as Cop26, said not enough was being done to commit to a net zero-emissions world and said we face an “apocalyptic future” unless action was taken.
Speaking to a high-level summit hosted by the International Energy Agency and organisers of Cop26 – which will be held in Glasgow in November – Mr Sharma said “on our current course we are heading for global temperature rises of more than 3°C”.
Under the Paris Agreement, which was signed by almost all countries, signatories pledged to limit global warming to well below 2°C – and preferably 1.5°C – compared to pre-industrial levels.
“Without adequate finance, the task ahead is well-nigh impossible,” Mr Sharma said.
Addressing foreign government officials at a separate ministerial meeting, he said “the communities that have done the least to cause the climate crisis are suffering the most”.
Mr Sharma said the problems that the meetings on Wednesday sought to address were not new.
“We have heard time and again that a lack of solutions on finance, adaptation and debt are limiting climate action in the world’s most vulnerable communities. But it is absolutely vital that we now break the inertia and find some solutions,” Mr Sharma said.