World leaders have not started discussing how climate change targets will impact people's lives, admits UN

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Gareth Davies
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
A message in Seoul that reads "LEADERS SAVE EARTH SAVE US" is projected by Green Peace activists ahead of a climate change summit led by US President Joe Biden, in Seoul - Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters
A message in Seoul that reads "LEADERS SAVE EARTH SAVE US" is projected by Green Peace activists ahead of a climate change summit led by US President Joe Biden, in Seoul - Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

World leaders have not even started discussing how climate change targets will impact people's everyday lives, the United Nations (UN) has admitted.

To mark Earth Day, 40 world leaders will meet at an online summit on Thursday to discuss the global commitment to reduce carbon emissions.

The talks might see 2015's Paris climate agreement - where it was agreed to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius - beefed up given temperatures have actually increased.

But the UN has admitted that the world leaders have not even discussed what it means for the public going about their lives.

Asked if Governments should be telling voters to eat less red meat, buy fewer cars, take fewer flights or reduce their protein intake, Patricia Espinosa, the UN's lead on climate change, told the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme: "We have not yet gone to that level in the conversation regarding climate change.

"I think that there is not only in the US and China, but in many other countries, not yet a clarity on what this implies in everyday lives of people, because we have known that if we continue in this trend we will need a number of planets in order to be able to fulfil the needs of the growing population."

Although optimistic of hitting long term global warming goals, Ms Espinosa conceded it was a concern that no conversation has taken place about what it will mean for people's lifestyles.

Ms Espionsa - Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - told the BBC: "It is worrying, but we have concentrated on the higher meeting sectors like transportation, aviation, the really high emitting industries like steel, cement, the question of sustainable buildings energy efficiency, those sectors that are directly regulated through legal frameworks in every country."

The US President Joe Biden will lead the summit after his predecessor Donald Trump yanked the US out of The Paris Agreement during his tenure.

Asked "Are you glad Donald Trump is no longer the US President?", Ms Espinosa responded: "I am very happy to be working with a Biden administration in the US, let's say it like that."