Guterres happy with climate action, sad about Covid-19 handling

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is happy with the progress in global climate action, but sad about the lack of international cooperation in dealing with the still raging coronavirus pandemic, according to his spokesman.

Answering an end-of-year question about the UN chief’s biggest pride and his biggest regret for 2020, Stephane Dujarric, Guterres’ spokesman, said on Thursday: “Look, he is not one to toot his own horn. But I guess that’s my job.”

One of the things he would deserve to be most proud of is seeing that needle move on climate, Xinhua news agency quoted Dujarric as saying.

“This is an issue he has spoken about to audiences in China, in Japan, in India with a strong message. And we have seen the needle move.”

During the Climate Ambition Summit on December 12, very important member states made pledges toward carbon neutrality and emissions reduction although more needs to be done, he noted.

“I think that’s a reflection of the intense work he has put in on this issue over the past year,” he added.

In terms of Guterres’ regret, Dujarric named the lack of real international cooperation on Covid-19 and all the offshoots of this pandemic.

There should have been much stronger coordination, cooperation from the first days the pandemic hit, he said.

Guterres is currently spending time with his family in Portugal for the holiday season and is expected to return to New York on January 4, Dujarric added.