Climate Change

19 February 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to event marking the United States rejoining the Paris Agreement 

Let me begin by thanking the UN Foundation and the United Nations Association of the United States.

You are a force multiplier: educating, advocating and mobilizing for global cooperation, and advancing shared values to take on our many challenges. 

Day after day, you work for change and inspire hope. 

Today is a day of hope, as the United States officially rejoins the Paris Agreement. 

This is good news for the United States — and for the world.

18 February 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at joint press conference with UNEP's Inger Andersen at launch of "Making Peace with Nature" report

Good day to everybody, everywhere.

I am pleased to join the launch of this important report from the United Nations Environment Programme on Making Peace with Nature.

I want to be clear.  Without nature’s help, we will not thrive or even survive.

For too long, we have been waging a senseless and suicidal war on nature.

The result is three interlinked environmental crises.

Climate disruption, biodiversity loss and pollution that threaten our viability as a species.

They are caused by unsustainable production and consumption.

08 February 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at briefing to Member States by incoming COP26 President 

We are nine months away from COP26, a critical milestone in our efforts to avert climate catastrophe.

I am very pleased that the incoming COP President is here to discuss with all of you the road to Glasgow.

The past year has seen welcome progress. 

I thank those who showed leadership by announcing bold new commitments at the Climate Ambition Summit I convened with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the President of France in December.

28 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks to the press following briefing to member states priorities for 2021

Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. I wish you all a happy and healthy start to the year.

My message today for 2021 is a message of hope and determination.

Hope, as I believe it is possible to change gear and put the world on the right track.

Determination, as we must all do everything we can to make it happen.

We have just lived through the most difficult year of my lifetime.

Our world was rocked on its axis in 2020.

28 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to Member States on Priorities for 2021

Secretary-General António Guterres briefs the General Assembly on his priorities for 2021 and also a report on the work of the Organization. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

[All-English version; scroll down for bilingual as delivered version]

President of the General Assembly,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

2020 was a global annus horribilis – a year of death, disaster and despair.

The COVID-19 pandemic unleashed havoc in every country and every economy.

We lost 2 million lives, including many dear members of our UN family.

The human toll continues to multiply.

The economic costs continue to mount.

500 million jobs -- gone.

25 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Special address at Davos Agenda

I thank you very much for this opportunity to address the Davos Agenda.

Humanity has just endured a year of tragedy and crisis that we never want to repeat.

If there is one word that characterizes today’s world, it is fragility.

We see it in the impacts of the COVID-19 emergency.

More than 2 million people have died, and we are in the worst economic crisis for nearly a century.

We see it in the inequalities among people and countries that have been starkly highlighted by the pandemic.

25 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the Climate Adaptation Summit

I thank Prime Minister Mark Rutte [Prime Minister of the Netherlands], and Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen [Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands] and my dear friend Ban Ki-moon for inviting me to address this important summit, and I thank the Global Commission on Adaptation for its leadership.

We begin this year with a heightened awareness of the importance of resilience.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us that we cannot afford to ignore known risks.

Climate disruption is a risk we are well aware of.

18 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the Handover Ceremony of the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China 

It is a pleasure to join you.

I congratulate the Republic of Guinea as it assumes the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China for 2021.

I assure you of continued support of the United Nations Secretariat.

I commend Guyana for its expert guidance of the group throughout 2020, an unprecedented year in the history of our Organization.

11 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the One Planet Summit

[All-English; scroll down for billingual as delivered version]

Dear friends,

2021 must be the year to reconcile humanity with nature.

Until now, we have been destroying our planet.

We have been abusing it as if we had a spare one.

Our current resource use requires almost two planets but we only have one. 

If we compare Earth’s history to a calendar year, we have used one third of its natural resources in the last 0.2 seconds.

We have been poisoning air, land and water – and filling oceans with plastics.

18 December 2020, Berlin

Remarks to the Bundestag, the German parliament in Berlin

Thank you very much, Mr. President of the Bundestag Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, for the opportunity to speak here in the German Bundestag today.
Dear Federal President,
Dear Chancellor,
Dear President of the Federal Constitutional Court,
Dear Members of the Bundestag,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,