New York

23 February 2015

Secretary-General's Remarks at Briefing to Member States on the Lima COP 20 outcome and the road to COP 21 in Paris

I thank the Permanent Representatives of France and Peru for organizing this briefing.

I would like to congratulate Peru for its skillful leadership in facilitating a positive outcome in Lima. This has provided us with a solid foundation for success in Paris.

I ask that all gathered here lend their full and continued strong support this year to Peru and France, as the current and incoming Presidencies of the Conference of the Parties. 

We need to support them, and to work together to ensure global action for people and the planet. 

The year 2015 is the time for action on climate, culminating in Paris in December.

It is the year when Member States, at a special summit in September, will adopt a global development agenda, including set of universal goals

It is the year in which, at the financing for development conference in July in Addis Ababa, the world can ensure a renewed global partnership for development.

And it is the year in which, next month in Sendai, Japan, we will strengthen the world’s framework for disaster risk reduction.

Taken together, we have an opportunity to take decisive, inclusive and transformative steps towards building a safer, healthier, more equitable, resilient and habitable world for ourselves and those who come after us. 

As Member State representatives, you have a special role to play. I count on your support in ensuring that we advance on all of these fronts and realize the full potential of this historic year.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Recent months have seen strong progress on climate change.  At the Climate Summit I convened last September, I said we needed all hands on deck.

I am pleased to say that this is indeed what happened:  Governments, along with leaders of finance, business and civil society, came together to announce significant new actions that can reduce emissions and strengthen resilience.

On forestry, transport, agriculture, industry, energy and resilience, multi-stakeholder partnerships advanced important work that is reaping tangible results.

Peoples and leaders from all sectors and all walks of life demonstrated that they can and must be part of the solution.

The Summit also catalyzed much-needed momentum on climate finance.  Public and private sector leaders pledged to mobilize over $200 billion by the end of this year to finance low-carbon, climate-resilient growth. 

Building on that momentum, Parties made important strides at COP20 in Lima towards laying the foundations for the agreement.

The Lima Paris Action Agenda was launched, ensuring that climate actions from the Summit strengthen their reach and continue to add new partners towards Paris.

Also in 2014, countries pledged the $10 billion needed for the initial capitalization of  the Green Climate Fund.

I wish to thank all countries, both developed and developing, for their contributions.  I urge all pledging countries to deliver their contributions as soon as possible so that the GCF is fully operational before Paris and is delivering funds where they are needed most.

These major advances of 2014 have set the stage for success in 2015.  Our challenge now is clear: to finalize a meaningful, universal agreement on climate change.

Just over a week ago in Geneva, Parties agreed on a negotiating text.  But key issues still remain.

Climate finance is critical, not only for catalyzing action, but for building the political trust needed to reach a universal agreement in Paris. Developed countries need to set out a clear trajectory for achieving the goal of mobilizing $100 billion per year by 2020.

Adaptation and resilience efforts must be strengthened and supported, especially in the small island states and least developed countries.

Action at every level, from the local to the global, must accelerate. We have no time to waste, and much to gain by moving quickly down a lower-carbon pathway. 

In June, the President of the General Assembly will host a High-level event on Climate Change. I urge all Member States to fully support this event and help generate further political support for an agreement. 

I also urge countries to prepare ambitious intended nationally determined contributions, INDCs, and to submit them as soon as possible. The UN system stands ready to support Member States in their preparations.

All countries must be part of the solution if we are to stay below the 2 degrees Celsius temperature rise threshold. 

All of society must be engaged.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Last week, you discussed various aspects of the post-2015 development agenda. 

Addressing climate change is essential for realizing sustainable development.  If we fail to adequately address climate change, we will be unable to build a world that supports a life of dignity for all.  But if we meet the climate challenge, we will make major strides in building a more sustainable, equitable world.

We must all work together during 2015, for development, for climate, for the sustainable prosperity of all people and our planet, our common home.

Thank you.