Speeches on Climate Action

From top leaders around the United Nations

April
22
2022
Remarks

Secretary-General's message on International Mother Earth Day

“Let us make sure our leaders bring the ambition and action needed to address our triple planetary emergency. Because we have only one Mother Earth. We must do everything we can to protect her.”
April
04
2022
Remarks

Secretary-General's video message on the launch of the third IPCC report

“Demand that renewable energy is introduced now – at speed and at scale. Demand an end to coal-fired power. Demand an end to all fossil fuel subsidies.”
March
31
2022
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks at the launch of the the High-Level Expert Group on Net-Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities

“If we don’t see significant and sustained emissions reductions this decade, the window of opportunity to keep 1.5 alive will be closed – and closed forever.”
March
23
2022
Remarks

Secretary-General's message on World Meteorological Day

“Today I announce the United Nations will spearhead new action to ensure every person on Earth is protected by early warning systems within five years.”
March
22
2022
Remarks

Secretary-General's message on World Water Day

“On this World Water Day, let us commit to intensifying collaboration among sectors and across borders so we can sustainably balance the needs of people and nature and harness groundwater for current and future generations.”
March
21
2022
Remarks

Secretary-General's message on the International Day of Forests

“On this International Day of Forests, let us recommit to healthy forests for healthier livelihoods.”
March
21
2022
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to Economist Sustainability Summit

“Instead of hitting the brakes on the decarbonization of the global economy, now is the time to put the pedal to the metal towards a renewable energy future.”
March
03
2022
Remarks

Secretary-General's message on World Wildlife Day

“On this World Wildlife Day let us commit to preserving our invaluable and irreplaceable wildlife for the benefit and delight of current and future generations.”
March
03
2022
Remarks

Secretary-General's video message to UNEP@50: Special Session of the UN Environment Assembly

“UNEP's science, policy work, coordination and advocacy has helped to right environmental wrongs around the world and raise awareness of the importance of the environmental dimension of sustainable development.”
February
28
2022
Remarks

Secretary-General's video message to the Press Conference Launch of IPCC Report

“Every fraction of a degree matters. Every voice can make a difference. And every second counts.”
February
21
2022
Remarks

Secretary-General's video message to the Club de Lisboa conference: "Energizing the World while preserving the planet"

“Every country must strengthen their Nationally Determined Contributions until they collectively deliver the 45 per cent emissions reduction needed by 2030.”
January
21
2022
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to the General Assembly on his Priorities for 2022

“The battle to keep the 1.5-degree goal alive will be won or lost in this decade.”
January
17
2022
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to the World Economic Forum [as delivered]

“Turning this ship around will take immense willpower and ingenuity from governments and businesses alike, in every major-emitting nation.”
January
15
2022
Remarks

Secretary-General's video message to the Twelfth Session of the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

“By investing in a renewable energy future, we can support pandemic recovery and build resilient societies and sustainable and inclusive economies.”
December
14
2021
Remarks

Closing remarks by Collen Kelapile, President of ECOSOC, at the briefing on the outcomes of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26)

“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development offers a roadmap to pursue climate action and sustainable development in an integrated, inclusive and resilient manner.”
December
14
2021
Remarks

Opening remarks by Collen Kelapile, President of ECOSOC, at the briefing on the outcomes of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26)

“The Glasgow Climate Pact to keep global warming to 1.5C and the other important commitments are a sign of progress.”
December
09
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks at Security Council debate on Security in the Context of Terrorism and Climate Change

“Climate impacts compound conflicts and exacerbate fragility.”
November
13
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's statement on the conclusion of the UN Climate Change Conference COP26

“Success or failure is not an act of nature. It’s in our hands.”
November
13
2021
Remarks

Patricia Espinosa: COP26 Reaches Consensus on Key Actions to Address Climate Change

“For every announcement made, we look forward to both firm plans and the fine print.”
November
11
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to Global Climate Action High-Level Event - as delivered

“Only together can we keep 1.5 degrees within reach and the equitable and resilient world we need.”
November
10
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's video message for the Caring for Climate High-Level Meeting

“Private sector finance must be aligned with a credible net-zero, resilient and sustainable development pathway.”
November
04
2021
Remarks

Delivered remarks of Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Climate Action and Assistant Secretary-General for Climate Action, Selwin Hart, to Powering the World Past Coal event at COP26

“We now need all G20 countries to commit to phase-out coal based on the science. OECD countries by 2030, and globally by 2040.”
November
02
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to the Climate Vulnerable Forum Leaders Dialogue [as delivered]

“Every country and region must commit to net zero emissions and pursue concrete and credible near-term targets.”
November
01
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to the World Leaders Summit - COP 26 [as delivered]

“We must listen — and we must act — and we must choose wisely.”
October
30
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's video message to the 16th Conference of Youth (COY) of UNFCCC COP26

“I will continue to call on every country to ensure young people have a seat at the climate decision making table.”
October
26
2021
Remarks

Opening remarks at the launch of the Emissions Gap 2021 Report press conference

“The time for closing the leadership gap must begin in Glasgow.”
October
26
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to the High-Level Meeting on Delivering Climate Action - for People, Planet & Prosperity

“We need decarbonization now, across every sector in every country.”
October
25
2021
Remarks

Deputy Secretary-General remarks at the Middle East Green Initiative Summit 2021

“We need to urgently peak, reduce, and stabilize global green-house gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050.”
October
14
2021
Remarks

UN Secretary-General's video remarks to World Bank/IMF Event on Making Climate Action Count

“As COP26 approaches, it is essential for all humanity that we fulfil the promise of the Paris Agreement.”
October
14
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to the Second Global Sustainable Transport Conference [as delivered]

“We must act together, smartly, and quickly, to make the next nine years count.”
October
11
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's video message to Leaders Summit of the UN Biodiversity Conference

“Ecosystem collapse could cost almost three trillion US dollars annually by 2030.”
October
04
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's message on World Habitat Day 2021

“On World Habitat Day, let us work together to harness the transformative potential of sustainable urban action for the benefit of our planet and all people.”
October
04
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks at the UNCTAD 15 Opening Ceremony

“We need to turn this around with a bold, sustainable and inclusive global recovery.”
September
30
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to Pre-COP26

“It is essential for all humanity that we fulfil the promise of the Paris Agreement.”
September
30
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General’s Video Message to Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition (Pre-COP Youth Event)

“We need young people everywhere to keep raising your voices.”
September
24
2021
Remarks

Opening remarks to High-level Dialogue on Energy

“Investing in clean, affordable energy for all will improve the well-being of billions of people.”
September
23
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks at the Food Systems Summit

“We must build a world where healthy and nutritious food is available and affordable for everyone, everywhere.”
September
23
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General’s remarks to the Security Council High-level Open Debate on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Climate and Security

“Much bolder climate action is needed ahead of COP 26 – with G20 nations in the lead – to maintain international peace and security.”
September
21
2021
Remarks

Statement by the Secretary-General on the announcements by the United States and China on climate action

“All countries must bring their highest level of ambition to Glasgow if we are to keep the 1.5-degree goal of the Paris Agreement within reach.”
September
20
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to the media following the Informal Leaders Roundtable on Climate Action

“Governments must shift subsidies away from fossil fuels and progressively phase out coal use.”
September
17
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate [as delivered]

“We need more ambition on finance, adaptation and mitigation.”
September
17
2021
Remarks

Statement by the Secretary-General on the report by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

“The fight against climate change will only succeed if everyone comes together to promote more ambition, more cooperation and more credibility.”
September
16
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's message on the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

“The Montreal Protocol and the Kigali Amendment show us that by acting together, anything is possible.”
September
16
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's video message to the media on the launch of United in Science Climate Report

“We need all countries to present more ambitious and achievable Nationally Determined Contributions.”
September
8
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to the High-Level Dialogue of the Americas on Climate Action

“We need a breakthrough on adaptation and resilience.”
September
6
2021
Remarks

Deputy Secretary-General's video message for the High-Level Dialogue “Adaptation Acceleration Imperative for COP26” - as convened by the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA)

“The IPCC findings provide irrefutable evidence that billions of lives are at risk unless we rapidly cut emissions.”
August
9
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's statement on the IPCC Working Group 1 Report on the Physical Science Basis of the Sixth Assessment

“As today’s report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses.”
July
25
2021
Remarks

Statement by the Secretary-General on the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Environment, Climate and Energy

“With less than 100 days left before COP 26, I urge all G20 and other leaders to commit to net zero by mid-century, present more ambitious 2030 national climate plans and deliver on concrete policies and actions aligned with a net zero future.”
July
9
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to Third G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

“The G20 must set ambitious, clear and credible climate policies.”
July
8
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's video remarks at launch of the First Hydromet Gap Report

“It presents the challenges of the complex global and local undertaking required for effective weather and climate forecast services and it proposes priority solutions to scale up hydromet development.”
July
8
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's video message to the First Climate Vulnerable Finance Summit

“Developing countries need reassurance that their ambition will be met with much-needed financial and technical support.”
July
1
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's video message to the Austria World Summit

“All plans and initiatives must be ambitious, credible and verifiable.”
June
11
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's virtual Press Conference at the G7 Summit

“In the developing world, people are already suffering and need support to build resilience.”
June
8
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's closing remarks to Insurance Development Forum

“Investments should not be contributing to climate pollution but should be directed towards climate solutions.”
June
5
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's message on World Environment Day

“The United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a global call to action. Everyone can contribute.”
June
2
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's video remarks to Clean Energy Ministerial meeting

“This decade must also be when renewable energy overtakes fossil fuels.”
May
30
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's video message to the Partnering for Green Growth Summit

“Tackling climate change head-on will help protect the most vulnerable people from the next crisis while sustaining a job-rich recovery from the pandemic.”
May
25
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to the Global Roundtable on Transforming Extractive Industries for Sustainable Development [as delivered]

“All public and private finance in the extractives sector should be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.”
May
21
2021
Remarks

Deputy Secretary-General's remarks at G7 Climate and Environment Ministerial Meeting [as delivered]

“The G7 holds great sway to ensure that 2021 is a pivotal year for people and planet.”
May
10
2021
Remarks

Deputy Secretary-General's remarks at the "Petersberg Climate Dialogue in New York" Event

“We have six months to deliver concrete results at COP26 and find a balanced and ambitious package on mitigation, adaptation and finance.”
May
6
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks at 2021 Petersberg Climate Dialogue [as delivered]

“We have six months until COP26. We must make them count.”
April
22
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's statement at the Conclusion of the Opening Session of the Leaders Summit on Climate

“I welcome the announcement of new and enhanced nationally determined contributions.”
April
22
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's video message on International Mother Earth Day 2021

“Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is a chance to set the world on a cleaner, greener, more sustainable path.”
April
19
2021
Remarks

Opening remarks at press conference to launch the "State of the Global Climate in 2020 Report"

“We need radical changes from all financial institutions, public and private, to ensure that they fund sustainable and resilient development for all.”
April
16
2021
Remarks

UN Secretary-General's remarks to Meeting with Leading Mayors Supported by C40 Cities: “Advancing a Carbon-Neutral, Resilient Recovery for Cities and Nations”

“Cities are already succeeding on climate action. The challenge is to speed up, and scale up.”
April
6
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks at the Leaders' Dialogue on the Africa COVID-Climate Emergency: Delivering the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme

“We can provide universal access to energy in Africa primarily through renewable energy.”
March
31
2021
Remarks

Deputy Secretary-General's opening remarks at Climate and Development Ministerial Meeting [as prepared for delivery]

“We must deliver concrete action now to protect the most vulnerable from more severe and frequent climate impacts.”
March
27
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's video message for Earth Hour 2021

“The United Nations is proud to join in the global effort to mark Earth Hour. It’s a reminder that small actions can make a big difference.”
March
23
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's video remarks to the 2021 Ministerial on Climate Action, convened by China-EU-Canada

“Together, we must support the communities that are affected, through a just transition that provides decent jobs and a clean environment.”
March
2
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's video message to Powering Past Coal Alliance Summit

“Phasing out coal from the electricity sector is the single most important step to get in line with the 1.5 degree goal.”
February
26
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General’s statement on the UNFCCC Initial Nationally Determined Contributions Synthesis Report

“2021 is a make or break year to confront the global climate emergency.”
February
24
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's message marking Second Anniversary of Costa Rica National Decarbonization Plan

“As we strive to expand this coalition, the international community must also turn those pledges into concrete plans.”
February
19
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to event marking the United States rejoining the Paris Agreement

“Today is a day of hope, as the United States officially rejoins the Paris Agreement. This is good news for the United States — and for the world.”
February
8
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's Remarks at briefing to Member States by incoming COP26 President

“We need every voice at the table. As we collectively address our climate emergency, no voice, and no solution, should be left behind.”
January
28
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's Remarks to Member States on Priorities for 2021

“Let’s keep building the global coalition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.”
January
25
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's special address at Davos Agenda

“We need you more than ever to help us change course, end fragility, avert climate catastrophe and build the equitable and sustainable future we want and we need.”
January
25
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to the Climate Adaptation Summit

“Adaptation cannot be the neglected half of the climate equation.”
January
11
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to the COP26 Roundtable on Clean Power Transition

“We must invest in a future of affordable renewable energy for all people, everywhere.”
January
11
2021
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to the One Planet Summit

“2021 must be the year to reconcile humanity with nature.”
December
12
2020
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks at the Climate Ambition Summit

“Climate action is the barometer of leadership in today’s world. It is what people and planet need at this time.”
December
2
2020
Remarks

Secretary-General's address at Columbia University: "The State of the Planet"

“Making peace with nature is the defining task of the 21st century. It must be the top, top priority for everyone, everywhere.”
November
19
2020
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks on Climate Action to European Council on Foreign Relations

“It is essential that the European Union commits to reducing emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030. The Climate Ambition Summit on the five-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement represents a clear opportunity for the EU to present its more ambitious climate plan.”
November
18
2020
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to Youth4Climate Virtual Event

“Major and rapid change is exactly what we need in the fight against climate disruption. And no group is more effective in pushing leaders to change course than you.”
November
12
2020
Remarks

Secretary-General's video message for "Finance in Common" Summit

“The decisions we make now will determine the course of the next 30 years and beyond: Emissions must fall by half by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions no later than 2050 to reach the 1.5C goal.”
November
12
2020
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks at Paris Peace Forum [as prepared for delivery; scroll down for English version]

“2021 must be the year of a leap forward towards carbon neutrality.”
November
9
2020
Remarks

Secretary-General's video message to Green Horizon Summit

“All governments, cities, financial institutions and private businesses must establish their transition plans for net zero emissions by 2050 and start with concrete policies now. Together we can achieve carbon neutrality for a sustainable future.”
October
12
2020
Remarks

Secretary-General's video message for Climate Action Network: ‘World We Want' Public Mobilization Campaign

“There is much work ahead for the global community to build greater climate justice and resilience, as we strive for net-zero emissions by 2050. But I remain optimistic.”
October
7
2020
Remarks

Secretary-General's video remarks to Climate Vulnerable Forum

“All countries are threatened by climate change, but some are more vulnerable than others.”
October
7
2020
Remarks

Secretary-General's video message to Daring Cities Virtual Forum: Urban Leaders and Climate Change

“We need cities to commit to net zero emissions before 2050, and a 45 per cent reduction by 2030.”
September
24
2020
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks to High-level Roundtable on Climate Ambition

“The climate emergency is fully upon us, and we have no time to waste. The answer to our existential crisis is swift, decisive, scaled up action and solidarity among nations.”
August
28
2020
Remarks

19th Darbari Seth Memorial Lecture "The Rise of Renewables: Shining a Light on a Sustainable Future

“As governments mobilize trillions of dollars to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, their decisions will have climate consequences for decades.”
July
9
2020
Remarks

Remarks to International Energy Agency Clean Energy Transition Summit

"It is vital that we bring sharper focus on the need to transition away from fossil fuels and toward a clean energy future."
June
8
2020
Remarks

Remarks on World Oceans Day

"We have a responsibility to correct our relationship with the oceans."
April
30
2020
Remarks

Opening remarks at virtual press briefing from UN Headquarters

"Recovery needs to go hand-in-hand with climate action."
April
28
2020
Remarks

Remarks to Petersberg Climate Dialogue

"Delayed climate action will cost us vastly more each year in terms of lost lives and livelihoods, crippled businesses and damaged economies."
March
10
2020
Remarks

Opening remarks at press conference on WMO State of the Climate 2019 Report

"We have no time to lose if we are to avert climate catastrophe."
February
27
2020
Remarks

Secretary-General António Guterres' remarks at the New School: "Women and Power"

"Gender equality, including men stepping up and taking responsibility, is essential if we are to beat the climate emergency."
February
16
2020
Remarks

Remarks on Sustainable Development and Climate Change

"The answer to the global climate crisis will come from global solidarity backed by global action."
February
9
2020
Remarks

Remarks at the 33rd African Union Summit

"Africa is the least responsible for climate disruption yet is among the first and worst to suffer."
February
8
2020
Remarks

Opening remarks to the media at the African Union Summit

"Global commitment is needed to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, including by the big emitters."
February
3
2020
Remarks

Remarks to Group of Friends on Climate

"Climate action will be both a priority and a driver of the Decade of Action"
December
12
2019
Remarks

Remarks at COP25 event on Climate Action for Jobs

"The green economy is the economy of the future and we need to make way for it right now."
December
11
2019
Remarks

Remarks at COP25 event on Climate Ambition

"We need more ambition, more solidarity and more urgency."
December
11
2019
Remarks

Remarks at High-Level Event on Caring for Climate at COP25

"Let’s make 2020 the year we put the world for a carbon-neutral future"
December
2
2019
Press Conference

Press Conference with the Prime Minister of Spain

"There is still a long way to go and we are still running behind climate change."
December
2
2019
Remarks

Remarks at opening ceremony of UN Climate Change Conference COP25

"The decisions we make here will ultimately define whether we choose a path of hope, or a path of surrender..."
December
1
2019
Opening Remarks

Pre-COP25 press conference

"Our war against nature must stop. And we know that that is possible."
May
15
2019
Remarks

Remarks at the closing of High-Level Political Dialogue of the Pacific Island Forum

"What we ask for is not solidarity, it’s not generosity, it is enlightened self-interest from all decision-makers around the world."
May
14
2019
Remarks

Remarks at the Pacific Islands Forum

"We have the blueprints, the frameworks and the plans. What we need is urgency, political will and ambition."
May
13
2019
Remarks

Opening remarks at press encounter with James Shaw, New Zealand Minister for Climate Change

"[M]ove taxes from salaries to carbon [...] subsidies for fossil fuels must end [...] stop the construction of coal power plants from 2020 onwards"
May
13
2019
Remarks

Remarks to Māori and Pasifika youth at event hosted by James Shaw, New Zealand Minister for Climate Change

"[T]he green economy is the economy of the future and the grey economy has no future"
March
28
2019
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks at High-Level Meeting on Climate and Sustainable Development

"We have the tools to answer the questions posed by climate change, environmental pressure, poverty and inequality."
December
12
2018
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks at the closing of the High-Level Segment of the Talanoa Dialogue, COP24

"We no longer have the luxury of time."
December
4
2018
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks on the 2019 Climate Summit

"The Paris Agreement is not a piece of paper."
December
3
2018
Remarks

Secretary-General's remarks at the opening of the COP 24

"Science demands a significantly more ambitious response."
October
13
2018
Remarks

Remarks at High-Level Event on Climate Change

"Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees is still possible and will prevent some of the worst-case scenarios."
October
2
2018
Remarks

Remarks at First General Assembly of the International Solar Alliance

"The Climate Summit will provide an opportunity for leaders and stakeholders, both public and private, to demonstrate real climate action and showcase their ambition."
September
26
2018
Remarks

Remarks at High-Level Event on Climate Change

"Climate change is indeed running faster than we are, and we have the risk to see irreversible damage that will not be possible to recover if we don’t act very, very quickly."
September
10
2018
Remarks

Remarks on Climate Change

"The Climate Summit will provide an opportunity for leaders and partners to demonstrate real climate action and showcase their ambition"
September
5
2018
Remarks

Remarks at launch of the New Climate Economy report

"Over 250 investors with $28 trillion dollars in managed assets have signed on to the Climate Action 100+ initiative"