UN chief urges governments to use pandemic to ‘rebuild our world for the better’

Support us and go ad-free

UN chief António Guterres has said the coronavirus pandemic has exposed how fragile societies are but that if governments work together on common challenges, including the climate crisis, it can be an opportunity to “rebuild our world for the better”.

Speaking at a two-day international meeting on climate breakdown, the secretary-general said the only effective response to the worldwide health emergency is “brave, visionary and collaborative leadership”.

“The same leadership is needed to address the looming existential threat of climate disruption,” Guterres said, noting that the past decade was the hottest since measurements began.

He urged the European Union to show “global leadership” by presenting updated emissions reduction plans by the end of the year that would put Europe on course to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

But Guterres added that other big emitters also have to come on board. He noted that the G20 group of major developed and emerging economies together accounts for more than 80% of global emissions.

“The Paris Agreement was largely made possible by the engagement of the United States and China,” he said, referring to the 2015 climate accord. “Without the contribution of the big emitters, all our efforts will be doomed.”

Under president Donald Trump, the US has moved to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which commits to keeping global warming below 2C by the end of the century.

“These are dark days, but they are not without hope,” Guterres said. “We have a rare and short window of opportunity to rebuild our world for the better.

“Let us use the pandemic recovery to provide a foundation for a safe, healthy, inclusive and more resilient world for all people.”

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us