New York

22 September 2019

Deputy Secretary-General's closing remarks at the Energy Action Forum [as prepared for delivery]

Your Excellency President Zewde,

Your Excellency Prime Minister Frederiksen,

Your Excellency President Remensegau,

Your Excellency President Duque,

Special Representative of the Secretary General and CEO for Sustainable Energy for All Rachel Kyte,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to be here at this important event.

Finding ambitious solutions and joint answers to the climate emergency is a daunting challenge. The science is clear. We are failing.

Yet solutions are at hand. We know what to do as we see something at work so there are no excuses for inaction. What we need is urgent climate action at scale.

Youth have taken to the streets and are demanding more global ambition. And rightly so. They see the world they will be inheriting changing for the worse day by day.

Yesterday we had the Youth Summit -- 600 young people raising their voices and coming up with concrete solutions to the climate emergency.

A similar spirit has permeated the Energy Action Forum.

We have set out our objectives in Sustainable Development Goal 7 on sustainable energy.  Now we need action -- on the transition to renewables, on energy efficiency, and on access to energy, leaving no-one behind.

We will need a stronger focus on financing the transition, and on unlocking and easing access to capital, especially in the developing world.

Let innovative solutions be the wind in our backs by focusing more on research and development.

More importantly we need an honest discussion on how we exit and transition away from coal and other fossil fuels to a new era of sustainable energy solutions.

The climate emergency is a complicated task demanding partnerships and leadership.

President Zewde, your country is a regional and global leader in the climate field, championing access to energy for all – in Ethiopia and beyond.

Prime Minister Frederiksen, congratulations to you and your government for its recent efforts to enhance your country’s climate action. Especially the innovative governance structures you have deployed to ensure your vision becomes a reality.

President Remengesau, Palau is setting a bold example for all of us, and especially other island states, with your plan to make your power sector 100% renewable by 2030. You are truly making the most vulnerable countries leaders in showcasing that the energy transition is possible.

President Duque, thank you for Colombia’s leadership in the region and your commitment to a regional 20% renewables target.

You all represent exactly the type of political leadership we need. As co-leads for the Energy Transition Coalition, you have worked hard and presented us with impressive results. We look forward to seeing more tomorrow at the Summit itself.

But even more importantly, we need you to continue these efforts and to help chart the way forward, as we leave the summit returning to the battle front of climate action.

Let me applaud Rachel Kyte, you have played a key role in getting ambitious actions on the table pushing all beyond their comfort zones, reminding us constantly of the people we need to serve in this battle against climate change.

Soon you will be moving to a new endeavor, but I know you will continue being a touchstone and champion of a sustainable future for all.

The Secretary-General and I are extremely grateful for the hard work you have all put into making this Summit a success and a global wake-up moment for achieving a new level of ambition and momentum.

Now I ask that all of you join us in ensuring that this work achieves lasting results.

I look forward to taking this journey with you. 

Thank you.