Paris, France

05 December 2015

Secretary-General's remarks at meeting with parliamentarians during COP21

I am honoured to have this opportunity to address the distinguished speakers of the world’s parliaments.

I commend you for gathering here in Paris.

Climate change is the defining issue of our time.

The world needs your leadership like never before. 

Parliamentarians have a key role to play in supporting an effective national and global response to climate change.

Your national climate targets are an expression of your efforts and aspirations.

Implementing the INDCs is essential for the success of a global agreement to curb emissions and strengthen resilience to the impacts of climate change.

National legislation and adequate public financing will be essential.

There has been tremendous progress. 

In 2009, there were some 400 climate laws and policies on the books.

Last year, that figure had risen to over 800. 

The global legislative architecture on climate change is undergoing a ground-breaking change.

Forty-seven countries, including the 28 Member States of the European Union, have introduced carbon pricing through either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system.

China is introducing a national carbon market next year.

Seventy-five countries, plus the European Union, now have frameworks for limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

Sixty-four countries have frameworks for adapting to the impacts of climate change.

I applaud this leadership. 

But we must go further and faster.

The INDCs as they stand only bend the emissions curve down to a projected temperature rise of around 3 degrees Celsius.

We must hold temperature rise below 2 degrees to avoid catastrophic and irreversible changes to ecosystems and economies.

And we must rapidly adapt to the inevitable impacts to come.

For that we need parliamentary leadership on climate change in every country.

Parliamentarians are essential for supporting the implementation of an agreement here in Paris.

Your role is vital for translating global commitments into meaningful, enforceable and ambitious action at the national level.

The world needs your leadership.

I count on you to continue to drive the change we need to build a better, safer and more prosperous future for all.

Thank you.