UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres (File Photo)

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the announcement by US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on climate change, during the two leaders’ participation Tuesday in the general debate of the UN General Assembly in New York.

This came in a statement issued, on Tuesday, by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General, a copy of which was received by The Eastern Herald.

Addressing members of the General Assembly, President Biden announced a significant increase in funding to developing countries to help them deal with climate change, bringing total US aid to $11.4 billion annually.

In his speech to world leaders at the General Assembly, the Chinese president pledged that his country would stop financing coal-fired power plants abroad and redirect subsidies to green and low-carbon energy.

Commenting on this, the Secretary-General said in the statement, “I am encouraged by the important announcements made today in the General Assembly by the leaders of the world’s two largest economies regarding their commitment to climate action.”

“I welcome President Biden’s announcement that the United States will increase its international climate financing to approximately $11.4 billion annually,” he added.

“I also welcome President (Xi)’s announcement that China will end all financing for overseas coal-fired power plants and redirect its support to green and low-carbon energy,” he said.

“But we still have a long way to go to make the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (to be held in Scotland in November) a success, and all countries must deliver the highest level of ambition to Glasgow if we want to stay within reach of the 1.5 degree target of the Paris Agreement,” the Secretary-General added.

And on Tuesday, the annual high-level meetings of the 76th session of its General Assembly kicked off at United Nations Headquarters in New York, with the attendance of more than 110 heads of state and government of Member States (193 countries), and the topics of climate change, the coronavirus and Afghanistan topped the agenda.

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