EU chief calls for leadership at climate 'moment of truth'

Belgium European Commission College

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s chief executive called Thursday for a show of climate leadership ahead of two major international meetings focused on curbing global warming, warning that world leaders face “a moment of truth.”

“What we need is, first of all, leadership,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said before she heads to a weekend summit in Rome of the Group of 20 most developed nations. The 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, starts Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland.

“We need leadership for credible commitments for decarbonization to reach the goal of net-zero mid-century. But we also need sufficient commitments to really cut the emissions this decade,” von der Leyen told reporters in Brussels.

A new report by the U.N. Environment Programme has found that fresh pledges by governments to cut emissions are raising hopes but aren’t strict enough to keep global warming from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century.

It concluded that recent announcements by dozens of countries, including the 27-nation EU, to aim for “net-zero” emissions by 2050 could, if fully implemented, limit a global temperature rise to 2.2 degrees Celsius (4 F). That’s closer but still above the less stringe