15 November 2017

Opening statement to the press at COP23

António Guterres

Good afternoon,

The COP23 takes place in a moment where we dramatically feel that we need urgency and ambition when thinking and acting about climate action.

The reports recently published show that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is the highest since 800.000 years ago. And unfortunately, in 2017, we see for the first time in the last three years the emissions of greenhouse gases rising again.

It is very clear that we’re not on track to make the engagements made in Paris being implemented. And the engagements made in Paris are not enough for the objective which was established in Paris to make sure that climate change will not lead to an increasing temperature of over 1.5 degrees.

On the contrary, with the engagement made in Paris we would still have an increasing temperature above 3 degrees and that would be catastrophic for the world.

There is the experience I myself had in Barbuda and Dominica, seeing the dramatic devastation of the hurricanes is proof that we need to act with increased ambition.

We need to have stronger engagements, we need to act more quickly.

That means not only being more ambitious in relation to the emissions, to the reduction of emissions, but also being more ambitious in creating the conditions for adequate funding, especially for the developing world.

The commitment made in Paris, of 100 billion dollars per year of support for the developing world from 2020, must be respected.

And I was very happy to witness today President Macron saying, that even if the US will not implement its commitments on debt, Europe should replace the United States.

It’s absolutely essential that the developing world will have access to the levels of funding that were committed in Paris.

And all other mechanisms of funding are essential and all of them should be implemented. And carbon pricing is an absolutely crucial instrument, both from the financial point of view but especially as an instrument to make sure that our commitments of mitigation are indeed implemented.

This is the moment to ask for more ambition, this is the moment to ask for more urgency in the way we implement Paris, in the way we commit all of ourselves to make sure that the planet will not be in a dramatic situation, because we would have failed in facing the most terrible threat that the planet is facing today.