30 October 2021

Secretary-General's video message to the 16th Conference of Youth (COY) of UNFCCC COP26

The climate crisis is a code red for humanity.                                          

And young people have the most at stake.

Thank you for standing up for climate action in your communities, on the streets, and online.

I want you to know — it’s making a difference. 

Thank you for telling it like it is — and calling leaders out for lack of leadership.

For excuses, half measures and empty promises.

I share your frustration and anger. 

Because time is running out.

The only future for humanity is a 1.5 degree future.

Tomorrow, delegates will begin the COP26 negotiations.

Leaders must not only commit to net zero by mid-century — but show us how they will achieve it.

We need to see concrete action now.

By cutting emissions by 45 percent in this decade — backed by a credible plan of action to meet this target.

By allocating at least 50 per cent of climate finance to help all economies adapt — and to support creative adaptation solutions led by young people 

And by keeping the promise of providing developing countries at least $100 billion per year in climate finance.

We need young people — every step of the way.

Your Global Youth Statement and the bold proposals from the Youth4Climate event in Milan provide an urgent call to action for governments, businesses, and communities.

I will continue to call on every country to ensure young people have a seat at the climate decision making table.

We need your leadership — not only because of your moral authority as voices of the future.

But because you are a critical voice of the present, through your experience, skills and accomplishments. 

The pressure is on leaders — in large measure because of you. 

So keep pushing for action.  

For our climate. For our communities. And for humanity’s future.

I am proud to stand with you.

Thank you.