Ladies and gentlemen of the press — good morning.
I welcome my colleague Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP.
We are both here to keep sounding the alarm.
Less than one week before COP26 in Glasgow, we are still on track for climate catastrophe even with the last announcements that were made.
The 2021 Emissions Gap Report shows that with the present Nationally Determined Contributions and other firm commitments of countries around the world, we are indeed on track for a catastrophic global temperature rise of around 2.7 degrees Celsius.
Now, even if the announcements of the last few days will materialize, we would still be on track to clearly more than 2 degrees Celsius. These announcements are essentially about 2050 so it is not clear how they will materialize but even if these recent announcements would materialize, we would still be clearly above 2 degrees Celsius.
As the title of this year’s report puts it: “The heat is on.”
And as the contents of the report show — the leadership we need is off.
We know that humanity’s future depends on keeping global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030.
And we also know that, so far, parties to the Paris Agreement are utterly failing to keep this target within reach.
And the report also shows that countries are squandering a massive opportunity to invest COVID-19 fiscal and recovery resources in sustainable, cost-saving, planet-saving ways.
So far, the report estimates that only about 20 per cent of recovery investments will support the green economy.
As world leaders prepare for COP26, this report is another thundering wake-up call.
How many more do we need?
The recent IPCC report already showed that, unless we reduce global carbon emissions by 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030 — 100 months from now — we will not reach a 1.5 degree future.
Scientists are clear on the facts.
Now leaders need to be just as clear in their actions.
They need to come to Glasgow with bold, time-bound, front-loaded plans to reach net-zero.
To decarbonize every sector — from power, to transport, farming and forestry.
To phase-out coal — by 2030 in OECD countries and 2040 in all others — and to end all coal investment, public and private, national and international.
To end subsidies for fossil fuels and polluting industries.
To put a price on carbon, and to channel that back to creating green jobs.
And obviously, to provide at least $100 billion each year to the developing world for climate finance.
The Paris Agreement says: “The provision of scaled-up financial resources should aim to achieve a balance between adaptation and mitigation.”
And so, a balance means 50-50.
I repeat my call to donors and multilateral development banks to allocate at least 50 per cent of their climate support towards adaptation and resilience.
The clock is ticking.
The emissions gap is the result of a leadership gap.
But leaders can still make this a turning point to a greener future instead of a tipping point to climate catastrophe.
The era of half measures and hollow promises must end.
The time for closing the leadership gap must begin in Glasgow.
Thank you for your attention and I am at your disposal.