29 June 2019

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

I'd like, first of all, to express my enormous appreciation for what has been, indeed a contribution, of China and France on our way towards effective action, and I recall that, last year, it was not obvious that we would be successful in Katowice, and the meeting that we had in Buenos Aires was instrumental to create that success.
I'm very grateful for the role that both China and France played in Katowice to allow for the rule book of the Paris Agreement to be approved. I have to say, it was not obvious and it was not easy, and the commitment of both China and France to, not only climate action, but a multilateral approach to climate change was absolutely essential to the success of last year.
Now we are facing a situation that is even more difficult. The realities on the ground prove that climate change is running faster than what we are. And we are again feeling some political failing in some areas of the world. The recent meeting in Bonn was not a success and it demonstrates that we need a boost in political will. And I very much count on the determination of both China and France, both with the Paris Agreement, both with climate action and with multilateralism, to allow for our capacity to overcome the present difficulties.
And the reason of the [September Climate Action] Summit is exactly to raise ambition, to make sure that we are able to commit clearly to implement the decision that was taken in Paris for $100 billion per year, coming from both the public and the private sector, to be at the disposal of the developing world for mitigation and adaptation. And, at the same time, to reform and make the replenishment of the Green Climate Fund, a mechanism essential for the finance of climate action, but also ambition on mitigation and adaptation. For us, in the Secretariat of the UN, we are working very closely with the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] and the UNFCCC [UN Framework Convention on Climate Change].
The recent report of the IPCC is, at the same time, a red alert, but also a strong stimulus for action. We do believe that it's necessary to limit the growth of temperature at the end of the century to 1.5 degrees. We do believe that that requires carbon neutrality midcentury, we do believe that that requires an enhanced effort with the nationally determined contributions that will be reviewed in 2020. And we are very grateful for what is the determination of both France and China, with the difficulties and the problems each country has, and we know that, as it was said, we face an environment in which we respect the principle, that is the principle of common and differentiated responsibilities. But I'm very encouraged by the determination of both China and France to increase ambition and to make sure that the political will of the international community, in a multilateral way, will match the enormous challenge that we are facing.
We need to rescue the planet. We need to create conditions for harmony between humankind and nature, and I very much count on the determination of your two countries to make sure that the Summit is a success, that the review of the nationally determined contributions will be a success, and that others that are more reluctant, that are more problematic, in the end will feel that they are involved.