New York

21 September 2021

Statement by the Secretary-General on the announcements by the United States and China on climate action

I am encouraged by the important announcements made today at the General Assembly by the leaders of the world’s two largest economies regarding their commitment to climate action. 
 
I welcome President Biden’s announcement that the United States of America will significantly increase its international climate finance to approximately US$11.4 billion a year. This increased contribution from the United States will bring developed countries closer to meeting their collective commitment to mobilize US$100 billion a year in climate finance.  
 
I also welcome the announcement made by President Xi that China will end all financing of coal fired power plants abroad and redirect its support to green and low carbon energy. Accelerating the global phase out of coal is the single most important step to keep the 1.5-degree goal of the Paris Agreement within reach. 
 
While today’s announcements are welcome, we still have a long way to go to make COP26 a success and ensure that it marks a turning point in our collective efforts to address the climate crisis.  
 
Let us be reminded that based on the present emissions reduction commitments of Member States the world is on a catastrophic pathway to 2.7 degrees of heating. We need decisive action by all countries, especially the G20, to go the extra mile and effectively contribute to emission reductions. All countries must bring their highest level of ambition to Glasgow if we are to keep the 1.5-degree goal of the Paris Agreement within reach.