Sep 20, 2021 - World

Sifting for clues within a climate whirlwind

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images
UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

High-level talks in New York City and Washington this week will provide more signals about what might get done — or not — at the critical United Nations climate summit this fall.

Driving the news: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres will convene a closed-door gathering of leaders Monday morning on the sidelines of the U.S. General Assembly.

  • The meeting will focus on the gap between current climate commitments and what is actually needed to rein in global warming.
  • There are growing concerns the climate summit set to begin in Glasgow on Oct. 31, which more than 100 heads of state now plan to attend, could fall well short of what's needed to meet the Paris Agreement's temperature targets.

What they're saying: "We need to rebuild trust between developed countries and developing countries if we want to rescue COP26," Guterres told GZERO World's Ian Bremmer on Sunday.

  • "We are on the verge of an abyss. And one thing is clear, if you are on the verge of an abyss, you must be careful about your next step," Guterres said.
  • A chair's summary of the confab will offer clues about country positions going into the final sprint to Glasgow.

Meanwhile, Johnson will also visit Washington this week, where climate will be a major topic of discussion with the Biden administration.

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