29 June 2019

Secretary-General's remarks at Trilateral Press Conference on Climate Change with Foreign Ministers of China and France

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. One year ago, we were in Buenos Aires and we were preparing for the COP meeting in Katowice, where the rules book of the Paris Agreement was supposed to be approved. At the time, there was a wave of pessimism – it was not clear the international community would be able to come together and approve by consensus the rules book in Katowice. At the time, we decided – China, France, myself – to meet and to create the conditions to work together in order to make sure that Katowice would be a success. I'm extremely grateful to the very important role that both China and France played in Katowice, a role without which we would not have been able to reach the agreement that was established and allows us to have today the rules book of implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The commitments of China and France to the Paris Agreement, to a multilateral approach in relation to climate action, and to climate action in itself, through the measures and the commitments that both countries are making, to address the threats of climate change – this engagement is for us, a very important guarantee that we can also be successful in the future, and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity of this meeting.
Now we are facing another difficult situation. We see things on the ground getting worse than expected. Look at the recent heat wave in Europe, but the droughts, the storms, everything that is happening in the world, and political will has been fading. And, unfortunately a few days ago, we have a meeting in Bonn that was not the success, so we need to create the conditions to make sure that we are able to raise our ambition.
I believe in science, and the best available science that we have today was defined by the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report, making the clear that we should limit the growth of temperature to the end of the century to 1.5 degrees and defining the roadmap to reach that objective.
And that requires a meaningful increase in ambition – ambition in mitigation, ambition in adaptation, but also ambition in finance, because it's absolutely essential, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of China said, it's absolutely essential to clarify how the $100 billion  per coming both from the private and the public sector to support developing countries will be made available. And I will also be able to reform and to replenish the Green Climate Fund.
So more ambition in mitigation, more ambition in adaptation, more ambition in finance. These are the reasons that led me to convene our Climate Summit in September in New York, one year before the review of the commitments in the nationally determined contributions that will be absolutely decisive for this increase in ambition and before the COP25 in Chile. So the strong common commitment shown today by France and China, together with the Secretariat of the UN, is in my opinion, a very important step forward in order for that ambition to become a reality and in order to be able for us working together to have a path that combines the Paris Agreement with the Agenda 2030 and path of sustainable and inclusive development in a healthy planet.