Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the Climate Vulnerable Forum, in Bangladesh today:
The COVID‑19 crisis has shown that we are all vulnerable. The same is true of climate disruption. Both crises have inflicted huge human and economic costs. Both can only be addressed through ambitious multilateral action.
That is why I am urging Governments to take six climate‑positive actions to recover better together. Invest in green jobs. Do not bail out polluting industries, especially coal. End fossil fuel subsidies and place a price on carbon. Take climate risks into account in all financial and policy decisions. Work together. And, most important, leave no one behind.
All countries are threatened by climate change, but some are more vulnerable than others. That is why we must limit temperature rise to 1.5°C and transition to climate‑resilient economies. The United Nations is committed to ensuring ambitious climate action consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
I have been pushing, with the help of Jamaica, Canada and others, a sustainable COVID‑19 recovery through the finance for development process that will address climate priorities. Vulnerable nations need support. Support for adaptation and resilience is as necessary as mitigation and should be funded equally by multilateral development banks and the Green Climate Fund.
Climate-vulnerable countries are already leaders on climate ambition. You have been among the first to submit more ambitious nationally determined contributions ahead of COP26 [Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change].
I applaud your moral leadership and concrete examples. They are crucial to push the biggest emitters to achieve net‑zero emissions by 2050. You can count on the United Nations to support your ambition.