Buenos Aires

30 November 2018

Remarks at press encounter with Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian of France and Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China

António Guterres

I want to express my very deep gratitude and appreciation to China and France for their engagement and for their common commitments in relation to climate action in a particularly important moment that we are living together. Let me be very clear: we face a true emergency. Climate change is running faster than we are. We are facing dramatic consequences for the lives of many people around the world, especially in the most vulnerable situations, and very tragic perspectives for the end of the century if we are not able to increase our commitment and our ambition.
In these countries, the leadership that both France and China have provided in climate action are absolutely crucial and I’m extremely happy that the two countries have met just a few days before Katowice to reaffirm their engagement, their commitment and their leadership.
Katowice must succeed. We need to build in Katowice the momentum that is necessary for an increased ambition to be shown by the international community mainly when in 2020 the commitments made in Paris will be renewed in order to make sure that we are able to bring the increase of temperature in the world until the end of the century to clearly below 2 degrees and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees.
In Katowice there is a lot of work to be done. We need, based on the principle that we all accept of common but differentiated responsibilities that take into account national capabilities, to reach an agreement in the rules book, the Work Programme of the Paris Agreement, the guidelines for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and we also need to have a strong effort in order to make sure that the commitments made regarding finance will indeed move in the right direction.
I want to thank the President of France and the Prime Minister of Jamaica for having accepted to lead the mobilization of the international community in order to be able to have full clarity in the Climate Summit that I will convene for September next year - to have full clarity in relation to the $100 billion that are absolutely necessary to make sure that we are able to support the developing world in the mitigation and adaptation needs they face.

At the same time in Katowice there is a moment in which I know it will be possible to reaffirm a strong commitment to increase the ambition in relation to climate action. The fact that France and China are today together is in my opinion an extremely important signal, an extremely important message to the international community that we really want to make sure that climate change won’t run faster than we are, and that we will be able to win this battle for the future of humankind and for a healthy planet.