Climate change talks – level 3

28-09-2021 07:00

Last week, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosted a meeting with 35 to 40 world leaders to get countries to make deeper cuts of emissions, to give poorer countries more money to develop cleaner energy, and to adapt to the worsening impacts of climate change. These meetings are leading up to the huge climate meetings in Scotland in six weeks, and they’re designed to be the next step after the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

The focus on climate change comes at the end of another summer of disasters related to extreme weather, including devastating wildfires in the western US; deadly flooding in the US, China and Europe; a stroke of killer tropical cyclones worldwide; and unprecedented heatwaves everywhere.

Guterres pushed world leaders to do more for climate change, saying that to keep temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, it was necessary to cut emissions by 45% by 2030 and then to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. Instead, the agreements made until now by countries suggest there can be an increase of 16% in emissions in 2030 compared to 2010.

Difficult words: unprecedented (never done or known before), stroke (a sudden attack), carbon neutrality (a balance between releasing and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere).

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