The original host of this year’s UN climate change conference says 84 countries have now pledged to increase their anti-global warming targets in 2020. That’s up from 70 in September.
Chile made the announcement on Wednesday, the second day of ministerial talks at the COP25 conference in Madrid.
In addition, 73 countries have now promised to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to virtually zero by 2050. That’s up from 65 in September.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the international community to set even more ambitious goals.
The Paris Agreement on fighting global warming is set to become operational next year. But countries need to increase their climate targets to meet the UN goal of keeping the global average temperature increase at 1.5 degrees Celsius from levels before the Industrial Revolution.
The European Union unveiled its own climate policies on Wednesday.
The EU says it will draw up concrete plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 55 percent from the 1990 level by 2030. The body had initially set the reduction target at 40 percent.
The EU will also aim for legislation to cut emissions to virtually zero by 2050.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament on Wednesday that the unveiling of the plan is “Europe’s man-on-the-moon moment.”
But the EU faces a rough road ahead. Countries such as Poland and Hungary that are highly dependent on coal are reluctant to tighten their emissions. Questions are also being raised as to how to fund the measures needed to achieve the new climate targets.
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