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NEW YORK: The UN secretary-general António Guterres told the 76th General Assembly today the biased distribution of COVID-19 vaccines was an “obscenity” - with a surplus in some countries while over 90 percent of Africans still waited for their first dose.

“COVID and the climate crisis have exposed profound fragilities as societies and as a planet,” he declared. “Yet instead of humility in the face of these epic challenges, we see hubris. Instead of the path of solidarity, we are on a dead end to destruction.

“This is a moral indictment of the state of our world. We passed the science test. But we are getting an F in ethics.”

Telling the Assembly it must realize mankind is facing an abyss, he called on all countries to be more ambitious in climate mitigation, finance and adaptation - and not wait for others to act.

“More ambition on mitigation means countries committing to carbon neutrality by mid-century and to concrete 2030 emissions reductions targets that will get us there, backed up with credible actions now.”

Organisers of The Climate Pledge chose today to announce over 200 businesses have now committed to achieving net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.

Nespresso, ASOS, Procter & Gamble, HP, Salesforce, Scania, UPL, Greenko Group and GODI are among 86 new signatories that will now measure and report their GHG emissions on a regular basis; implement decarbonisation strategies in line with the Paris Agreement; and neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent and socially beneficial offsets.

“We are in a climate crisis. Salesforce believes that business is the greatest platform for change, and we consider the environment a key stakeholder,” commented Suzanne DiBianca, Salesforce’s chief impact officer. "We’re committed to bringing the full power of Salesforce to create a sustainable future by accelerating the world's largest businesses to net-zero; sequestering as much as 100 gigatons of carbon through conserving, restoring, and growing one trillion trees; and energizing the ecopreneur revolution.”

Scania launched its first electric truck range last year with a 165–300 kWh battery pack for a 230 kW electric motor, equal to 310 hp. Customers can select either five or nine batteries, the latter for a range of up to 250 kilometres on a single charge.

“Heavy commercial transport is no longer a hard-to-abate sector. We know how to reduce the emissions. We have the technology and we know what we need to do,” said president and CEO Christian Levin. “I urge other companies in the industry to follow along with other stakeholders involved in achieving a sustainable transport system.”
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