United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces (R) speaks to journalists during a press conference at the UN headquarters in New York, June 27, 2019. Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces on Thursday said that her message to the leaders attending the 2019 G20 Summit was that "we have run out of time" on climate change. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
UNITED NATIONS, June 27 (Xinhua) -- United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces said Thursday that her message to the leaders attending the 2019 G20 Summit was that "we have run out of time" on climate change.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference held at the UN headquarters in New York, the UNGA president said that "we have run out of time. We are in a climate emergency, and the cost of inaction is too high."
"We don't have options. We need to take seriously transitions to carbon neutral economies," she noted.
The 2019 G20 summit will be the 14th meeting of Group of Twenty. It will be held on June 28-29 in Osaka of Japan.
The UNGA president commended the European Union (EU) for its collective effort to combat climate change, noting that most of the EU member states have committed to meet their target of carbon neutrality by 2050.
On Nov. 28, 2018, the European Commission adopted a strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy by 2050: A Clean Planet for all.
"The cost of inaction is going to be unquantifiable because it is not only material loss, it is human lives and macro-economic losses," said Espinosa.
The UNGA president urged the international community to heed the damages caused by the impacts of climate change, droughts and floods, and the destruction of infrastructure, "if people do care about money and prosperity."
Referring to the much expected 2019 Climate Action Summit, which is scheduled to be held at the UN headquarters in New York on September 21-23, Espinosa said that the summit is a testament to the capacity of the multilateral system.
To boost ambition and accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will host the 2019 Climate Action Summit in September. The summit will showcase a leap in collective national political ambition, and it will demonstrate massive movements in the real economy in support of the agenda.
Espinosa told reporters quoting Guterres that "we do not expect our leaders to come up with speeches, but with plans and with concrete commitments."
"We have high expectations for the summit," she said.