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SG/SM/20940
30 September 2021

‘Keep Raising Your Voices’ to Hold Governments, Businesses Accountable for Climate Crisis, Secretary-General Tells Youth at Milan Event

Following is the text of UN Secretary‑General António Guterres’ video message to Youth4Climate:  Driving Ambition (pre‑Conference Youth Event), in Milan, Italy today:

The climate crisis is a code red for humanity.  It is already devastating lives and livelihoods.  As usual, the poorest and most vulnerable are the hardest hit.  The window of opportunity to prevent the worst impacts of the climate crisis is closing quickly.  We know what needs to be done and we have the tools to do it.

Young people have been in the forefront of putting forward positive solutions, advocating for climate justice and holding leaders to account.  We need young people everywhere to keep raising your voices:

For a breakthrough in building resilience and ensuring that at least 50 per cent of climate support is for adaptation to protect lives and livelihoods.  For developed countries to finally deliver on their promise of $100 billion a year in climate finance to the developing world.  For more Governments, businesses and investors to reduce their emissions in line with the 1.5 degree Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement [on climate change].  This means that they must commit to net zero by mid‑century, with ambitious 2030 targets, and clear plans to achieve them.  For ramping up climate education, green jobs, and fair and inclusive economic growth, leaving no one behind.

I thank the Government of Italy for providing this global stage for young people to engage directly with policymakers.  And I thank the more than 400 young people for contributing your ideas and solutions in advance of the Twenty‑sixth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26).  Your solidarity and demands for action set a powerful example.  We need national leaders to follow your example and ensure the ambition and results we need at COP26 and beyond.  Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.