The time has come for the world to take cognizance that climate change is an issue that can lead to serious ill effects. Several leaders spoke at the virtual Climate Ambition Summit, where the UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres talked about the subject. He wants the world to declare a climate emergency.

Such an action could prevent "a catastrophe." The ongoing pandemic forced postponement by a year of United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 climate talks. Hence, the online summit was set up to ensure countries did not lose sight of the main agenda.

This relates to the carbon reduction plans as envisaged in the 2015 Paris agreement. The signatories had pledged to try limiting global warming to certain levels to arrest global warming and corresponding climate change. This could become a reality if Renewable Energy replaces fossil fuels. Such an action could reduce greenhouse gases and arrest climate change. Automobile makers are promoting electric cars to check climate change, and Elon Musk is one of them.

The UN summit's message was to "stop the assault" on the planet. Countries have to take action to cut down on the emission of greenhouse gases that are responsible for climate change. UN Secretary-General urged world leaders to seriously treat the matter and declare a state of climate emergency until they become carbon neutral.

Only a few countries have done that.

The UN, the UK, and France co-hosting the virtual Climate Ambition Summit

Britain is one of the co-hosts of the climate summit. Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain said - "We're doing it because we know that scientific advances will allow us collectively as humanity to save our planet and create millions of high-skilled jobs as we recover from COVID." He assured that Britain has plans to bring down its emissions by 68 percent compared to 1990 levels and achieve it by 2030.

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Sky News adds that some other countries indicated their target dates to reach net-zero carbon emissions. President Xi Jinping of China indicated a considerable increase in the capacity of existing wind and solar installations. His target is to reach net-zero by 2060.

About Vatican City, the world's smallest state, The Pope pledged net-zero by 2050.

In his words - "In addition to adopting some measures that cannot be postponed any longer, a strategy is needed to reduce net emissions to zero." The world must accept the fact that climate change could end in irreversible ecological ruin if not checked.

2015 Paris agreement on climate change

The time has come to update commitments made in the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change with a fresh set of NDCs or nationally determined contributions. The virtual summit was an effort to infuse momentum in the 12-month countdown to next year's COP26 summit.

Countries have to limit temperature rise to 1.5C. This is as per the Paris Climate Change Agreement. However, to achieve the goal, the world has to go in for a drastic reduction in fossil fuel production.

Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris Agreement and was not present at the virtual summit. The world will have to wait and see how US President-elect Joe Biden handles the issue. In November 2018, there was a report that the United States could face climate change problems.

Climate change is a global issue

UN chief Antonio Guterres spoke on the occasion of marking five years since the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change. The gist of his speech is that the world must rise as one to tackle climate change. He wants countries to work towards giving shape to a greener world. The United Nations feels existing commitments to tackle global warming are inadequate. Honduras and Guatemala faced many hurricanes, and India is trying to come to terms with erratic weather patterns and air pollution. However, a few countries like Australia, Brazil, and South Africa did not participate in the summit.