Abu Dhabi

01 July 2019

Deputy Secretary-General's remarks to Climate Summit Preparatory Meeting [as prepared for delivery]

I am pleased to be with you today.
 
Just as the Climate Action Summit will not be an ordinary summit, this preparatory session in Abu Dhabi is not an ordinary meeting.
 
Our deliberations are proving that.
 
We are bringing out the best ideas and initiatives that can promote the transformations we need to limit climate disruption and build a sustainable world.
 
The Climate Action Summit is not about negotiations for an outcome document. 
 
It is about raising ambition and accelerating action. 
 
We can no longer afford any delay.
 
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has spelled it out.
 
And so have the young activists who are taking to the streets in growing numbers.
 
They want action, not words.
 
When we reach the Summit, our response must be unequivocal.
 
The plans that are announced and the initiatives that are launched must unambiguously demonstrate that they are practical, viable, and will help us meet the objectives we have set. 
 
That means limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels and building resilience to the changes that are to come.
 
The proposals must also bring with them the political leadership and determination with the means of implementation to make them a reality.
 
Let me begin by thanking all of you for your hard work so far. Many of you have put months, in some cases years, of work into the ideas and initiatives you have brought with you this weekend.
           
The aim of this meeting in Abu Dhabi is to take stock of where we are and identify what more needs to be done to bring ambitious, concrete and realistic plans to the Climate Action Summit.
 
Plans that will secure our footing on the beginning of a path to reach 1.5 degrees by the end of this century.
 
My team has updated me on yesterday’s discussions, and I’m pleased to hear your progress.
 
I have heard about the excitement for the Youth Summit on Saturday the twenty first of September, and the importance of youth voices being integrated into the Climate Action Summit two days later.
 
I have heard more countries readiness in enhancing nationally determined contributions, and committing to net neutral carbon emissions by 2050. And not only countries, but also private sector committing to aligning their business models with 1.5 target.
 
I have heard about the potential of multistake-holder actors working together to develop initiatives with the potential to transform our economies and societies.
 
This includes plans to make cities greener, which we know are responsible for 70 percent of global emissions.
 
It includes plans to deliver on the Secretary-General’s call for no more coal fired power plants by 2020. This means creating viable alternatives to coal, and ensuring they are accessible to all, especially those left furthest behind. 
 
I have heard about steps are being taken to rebuild our natural ecosystems. This will help us to cut emissions and protect us from the impacts of climate change.
 
And underpinning all of this is the need to engage the whole of society in a just transition to enable the movement to a clean economy to bring all parts of society with us.
 
So we can be pleased. But the work is not over yet.
 
As the Secretary-General said yesterday, we desperately need to mobilize the finance necessary to support this transition. This means replenishing the Green Climate Fund, and meeting the commitment of mobilizing 100 billion dollars a year by 2020.
 
We will not succeed in transforming our economies and societies without the necessary finance.
 
We need to emerge at the end of today with a clear idea of where we are on track, where there are gaps, and what actions we will take away with us to address those gaps.
           
The four synergies sessions will be opportunities to work across tracks to strengthen proposals, identify gaps, and foster deeper collaboration with other partners.
 
I want these conversations to catalyze to move from good ideas to great transformations.
 
These actions will demonstrate our resolve to confront the climate challenge, in a manner that is fair and ensures that no one is left behind.
 
This is a defining year for climate change if we want to achieve our targets by 2020.
 
It is also a defining year for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as we take stock of our progress.
 
And let us be frank.
 
We are not on track so far to deliver on the ambitions we have set for ourselves on climate change or the SDGs.
 
There are about 100 days from now to the Climate Action Summit. 
 
This meeting has given us a critical opportunity to shape the path toward a successful Summit outcome.
 
I look forward to the work ahead today.
 
Thank you.