Climate Change

31 March 2022, UN Headquarters

Secretary-General's remarks at the launch of the the High-Level Expert Group on Net-Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities 

Good morning to all of you. 
 
Today I am launching my High-Level Expert Group on the Net-Zero Emissions Commitments of non-State entities.  
 
And I am joined by Ms. Catherine McKenna, who will chair the Group, and I’m very grateful for that. 
 
Before Catherine makes her remarks, let me recap why we are here. 
 
The climate crisis is getting rapidly worse. 
 
Despite growing pledges of climate action, global emissions are at an all-time high and they continue to rise.  
 

21 March 2022, UN Headquarters

Secretary-General's remarks to Economist Sustainability Summit

Keeping 1.5 Alive – Delivering on the Fate of our Planet
 
Let me begin by thanking Zanny Minton Beddoes and the Economist for hosting this Sustainability Summit. 

You have kindly invited me to speak on the topic of “Keeping 1.5 Alive”. 

Well, there is no kind way to put it:

The 1.5-degree goal is on life support. It is in intensive care.

And we must tell it like it is. 

The world emerged from Glasgow with a certain naïve optimism. 

Yes, we saw some progress at COP 26. 

Commitments to end deforestation. 

21 January 2022, UN Headquarters

Secretary-General's opening remarks to press on his priorities for 2022

Good afternoon. 
 
Today I briefed the General Assembly on what I see as I scan today’s global landscape.
 
I did not pull any punches.  It’s not a pretty picture. 
 
I see a 5-alarm global fire.
 
You heard the speech.  I won’t repeat it. 
 
The essence of my message is simply this:  we don’t have the luxury to just catalogue our challenges. 
 
We must do something about them – and we can do something about them. 
 
So my message was stark – because that is the state of our world. 
 

21 January 2022, General Assembly

Secretary-General's remarks to the General Assembly on his Priorities for 2022

ecretary-General António Guterres briefs the UN General Assembly on his priorities for 2022. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

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

Excellencies,

We begin another year in the grips of a global pandemic.

COVID-19 continues to upend lives, plans and hopes.

The only certainty is more uncertainty.
 
Meanwhile, inequalities are growing.

Inflation is rising. 

The climate crisis, pollution and biodiversity loss rage on.

We face a cauldron of political unrest and ferocious conflicts. 

Mistrust among world powers is reaching fever pitch.

16 December 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at Secretary-General's end-of-year press encounter

Good afternoon.
 
This is my final opportunity to address you in 2021 – so let me begin by wishing you all happy holidays.  
 
We are coming to the end of a difficult year.  
 
The COVID-19 pandemic raged on.  Inequalities kept rising.   The burden for developing countries grew heavier – with diminishing resources for recovery, rising inflation and mounting debt.
 
To add fuel to the fire, we are still off track in addressing the climate crisis – another amplifier of global injustice and inequality.
 
I am deeply worried.

09 December 2021, Security Council

Remarks at Security Council debate on Security in the Context of Terrorism and Climate Change

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

Let me begin by strongly condemning the cowardly attacks on Sunday against the G5 Sahel forces in Niger and again yesterday against the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, in which seven Togolese peacekeepers lost their lives. An Egyptian peacekeeper also died after being injured in an attack in Mali last month.

I extend my deepest condolences to the families of the victims of these and many other attacks that have taken the lives of so many innocent people.

13 November 2021, Glasgow, Scotland

Statement on the conclusion of the UN Climate Change Conference COP26

Let me begin by thanking our hosts —the UK government and the people of Glasgow — for their tremendous hospitality.

I salute Alok Sharma and his team.  This was an extremely challenging conference. They have shown remarkable expertise in reaching consensus among parties.
 
I am grateful to Patricia Espinosa and all my colleagues of the United Nations Climate Change team.

And I express my gratitude to all delegates — and all those on the outside who have put pressure on this COP to deliver.

11 November 2021, Glasgow, Scotland

Remarks to Global Climate Action High-Level Event

Colleagues, friends,

This event – perhaps like no other at COP 26 – underscores a core truth:  

The climate action struggle requires all hands on deck.  

It is everyone’s responsibility.  

And you are showing the way.

02 November 2021, Glasgow, Scotland

Remarks to the Climate Vulnerable Forum Leaders Dialogue

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen, all protocol observed,

I thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to address you at this global High Level Climate Vulnerable Countries Leaders’ Dialogue.

You stand on the frontlines of an ongoing COVID-19 crisis and an escalating climate emergency.

You represent those who are first to suffer and those who are last to receive help.

The solidarity you need is lacking.

The solidarity needs to emerge here in Glasgow.

01 November 2021, Glasgow, Scotland

Remarks at the COP26 Leaders’ Event: “Action and Solidarity - The Critical Decade”

I think this title is appropriate: Action and Solidarity - the Critical Decade. Because the most important act of solidarity, namely with the developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to climate change, is to guarantee that we do not go above 1.5 degrees. And to guarantee that we do not go above 1.5 degrees, this decade is essential.