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22 April 2021

New Emissions-Reduction Plans by United States, Other Countries ‘Much-Needed Boost’ to Tackle Climate Crisis, Secretary-General Says as Opening Session of Summit Ends

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ statement on the conclusion of the opening session of the Leaders’ Summit on Climate, today:

I thank [United States] President [Joseph] Biden for convening today’s Leaders’ Summit.  The commitments and actions announced, provide a much-needed boost to our collective efforts to address the climate crisis ahead of Twenty-sixth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (COP26) in November in Glasgow.

I welcome the announcement of new and enhanced nationally determined contributions including by the United States, Canada and Japan, the commitment of Brazil to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, as well as the announcement by the Republic of Korea that it will end all external financing of coal and submit a more ambitious nationally determined contribution this year.  The leadership of all major emitters will be critical to securing success at Glasgow.  It is now urgent that all countries — especially other major emitters — present their 2030 climate plans well before COP26.

The upcoming Petersberg Climate Dialogue, the Partnership for Green Growth and the Global Goals Summit and the Summit of G7 Leaders will be crucial moments for leaders to deliver vital climate finance commitments especially on the $100 billion goal in support of developing countries’ climate action promised over a decade ago.  The world will be watching carefully, particularly those already experiencing severe climate impacts and an ongoing economic crisis.  Delivering on finance and adaptation is a prerequisite for success, and I am encouraged by the announcements made today by President Biden.

Today’s Summit shows the tide is turning for climate action, but there is still a long way to go.  To avert a permanent climate catastrophe, we must now urgently build on the momentum delivered today, in this make-or-break year for people and planet.

I look forward to convening leaders in September to make that final push towards COP26.

For information media. Not an official record.