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Two months before the COP26 in Glasgow, the countries of southern Europe reiterated this Friday in Athens “ their firm commitment »To implement the 2015 Paris Agreement, aimed at limiting the maximum warming in the coming years to 1.5 ° C.
At the initiative of Athens, French President Emmanuel Macron, Spanish Prime Ministers Pedro Sanchez and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi signed, with their counterparts from Cyprus, Malta, Slovenia, Croatia and Portugal, a declaration “ to achieve an ambitious result at COP26 To be held in November in Scotland. “ Now more than ever, there is a need to tackle the escalating climate and environmental crisis ”, Urged the nine Mediterranean countries in a joint declaration.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who chaired the summit, recalled that “ the devastating fires of this summer which struck Greece, Italy and Cyprus, did not spare any Mediterranean country, while the North of Europe was struck by destructive floods ». « While danger is common, so must our defense He urged.
But six weeks before the climate conference, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that a report released on Friday, assessing the national commitments of 191 countries, ” showed that the world is on a catastrophic path towards + 2.7 ° C of warming “. By virtue of the Paris Agreement, each country was to review its “nationally determined contribution” by the end of 2020. But as of July 30, only 113 countries, representing less than half of global greenhouse gas emissions (49%), had actually submitted their revised commitments.
In their joint declaration, the nine European leaders also reaffirm their “ commitment to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 ” in Europe. Present in Athens, the President of the European Council Charles Michel considered that it was “ the only solution “. The fires of summer are ” the trigger to accelerate our efforts and tackle climate change “Said Mario Draghi. Pedro Sanchez insisted on “ the preparation ” from “ territories to avoid natural disasters ».
The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, who came to Athens, also calls for solutions. ” We all see that climate change is heavily affecting the Mediterranean region and we need to find solutions », She estimated. “ We are committed to strengthening the European Civil Protection Mechanism “, Declared President Macron, who welcomed the” European solidarity On forest fires.
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Emphasizing the vulnerability of the Mediterranean to climate change, the nine Mediterranean countries are concerned about “ economic impacts “And call on their international partners,” in particular those of the G20 to ratify the Paris Agreement “. They also promised to strengthen their cross-border collaboration for the protection of biodiversity and to increase investments allowing better management of forests in the Mediterranean.