UN chief urges 'credible' net-zero pledges

STORY: The United Nations and standard setter the International Organization for Standardization launched the guidelines in November to become a reference text and help organisations come up with solid plans, avoiding slogans, hype and obfuscation.

While companies are increasingly pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions to as close as possible to zero, the benchmarks and criteria they use "are often dubious or murky", the U.N. chief told the Davos delegates.

The green energy transition of world powers has been one of the central themes at the forum in Davos, where the European Union said it would mobilise state aid to keep firms from relocating to the United States as part of its Green Deal industrial plan.

Guterres said meaningful engagement on climate, trade and technology between the United States and China - at loggerheads over issues ranging from trade to human rights - was essential to prevent confrontation.

In comments about global preparedness for another pandemic, Guterres said the world had failed to learn the lessons from COVID-19.