19 October 2018

Two Years to Runaway Climate Change ‘If We Do Not Change Course’, Secretary-General Warns Partnering for Green Growth, Global Goals

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals Summit for Heads of State and Government, in Copenhagen from 19 to 20 October:

It is a pleasure to greet this timely Summit.  I welcome your focus on innovative partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals.

We have many opportunities to advance common progress.  But, we also face risks, none graver than the consequences of a warming world.  The latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirmed that climate change is running faster than we are — and we are running out of time.

We are experiencing record-breaking temperatures around the world.  Heatwaves, fires, storms and floods are leaving a trail of death and devastation.  If we do not change course in the next two years, we risk runaway climate change.  We need urgent and unprecedented climate action in all areas.

The next key moment is the UN climate conference in Poland in December.  It must be a success.  And next September, I will convene a climate summit to mobilize greater climate action.

I welcome the efforts of Governments and businesses to support the global goals.  The United Nations looks forward to working with you for an expansion in partnerships and a surge in funding.  Together, we can build peaceful and prosperous societies for all on a healthy planet.  Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.