Climate Change

11 June 2021, London

Opening remarks at virtual press conference at the G7 Summit, UK

Well, thank you very much. Ladies and gentlemen of the media, it’s an enormous pleasure to be with all of you today. I want, first of all, to thank Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his kind invitation. It's for me a pleasure to join several of the sessions, the working sessions, of the G7. 

And there are two issues of enormous interest for me and for the work I do as Secretary-General of United Nations. One is related to vaccination and the way to defeat COVID-19. And the second is climate change and climate action to defeat climate change.  

25 May 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the Global Roundtable on Transforming Extractive Industries for Sustainable Development

Excellencies, Friends,

I am pleased to welcome you to this Global Roundtable on Transforming Extractive Industries for Sustainable Development.

Mineral resources are one of Earth’s great endowments.

Their extraction plays a dominant role in the economies of 81 countries.

These countries account for a quarter of global Gross Domestic Product, half the world’s population and nearly 70 per cent of people living in extreme poverty.

21 May 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to Webinar entitled "COP15: Road to Kunming, Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth"

I am very pleased to address this Webinar for the International Day for Biological Diversity.

Let me be frank.

Humanity is waging a war on nature.

We face a triple emergency – biodiversity loss, climate disruption and escalating pollution.

We will all be losers if we don’t achieve peace with the planet.

Nature sustains life.

It provides us with opportunities, services and solutions.

A healthy planet is critical for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

06 May 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at 2021 Petersberg Climate Dialogue

Excellencies, Dear friends,  
I want to thank Chancellor Merkel and the German government for convening this year’s Petersberg Climate Dialogue with the United Kingdom, president of this year’s UN climate conference.  
I strongly congratulate Germany for aiming to achieve carbon neutrality in 2045 and increase its 2030 target to cut its emissions by 65 per cent compared to 1990 levels. 

26 April 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to event on pandemic preparedness and response financing architecture


Thank you for being part of this important discussion.

The COVID-19 pandemic caught the world unprepared.

It has now taken more than 3 million lives and pushed millions into poverty.

To respond and recover better we need more investment in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Progress on reducing poverty, providing equal access to health care and tackling the climate crisis means better resilience to shocks.

If we had advanced further on the SDGs, we would have been better prepared to weather the COVID-19 crisis.

22 April 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at Leaders Summit on Climate


Thank you, President Biden, for bringing us together to focus on the existential threat of climate change.  

You have started this summit by walking the talk, and I applaud the commitment of the United States to cut greenhouse gas emissions 50 to 52 percent below [2005] levels.

Mother Nature is not waiting.  

The past decade was the hottest on record. 

Dangerous greenhouse gases are at levels not seen in 3 million years. 

Global temperature has already risen 1.2 degrees Celsius – racing toward the threshold of catastrophe.  

22 April 2021, UN Headquarters

Statement at the Conclusion of the Opening Session of the Leaders Summit on Climate

The Secretary-General thanks President Biden for convening today’s Leaders’ Summit. The commitments and actions announced, provide a much needed boost to our collective efforts to address the climate crisis ahead of COP 26 in November in Glasgow.  

16 April 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to Meeting with Leading Mayors Supported by C40 Cities: “Advancing a Carbon-Neutral, Resilient Recovery for Cities and Nations”

Dear Mayors, dear Governors, dear friends,

Thank you for joining me today, and for your commitment and leadership.

Cities are in my blood. I was born and raised in Lisbon, and throughout my political career, I was active on the municipal council in the city of Fundão, which I led for a few years.

“All politics is local,” as the saying goes. Mayors have enormous influence in the politics of their countries. You are a positive and growing force on the global stage.

Welcome to the United Nations.

29 March 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks to High-Level Event on Debt and Liquidity 

Distinguished participants,
Ladies and gentlemen,

We are at a turning point in the COVID-19 crisis.

The pandemic has cost over 2.7 million lives.

More than 120 million people have fallen into extreme poverty.

We are in the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Richer countries have benefited from an unprecedented $16 trillion of emergency support measures, preventing a downward spiral, and setting the stage for recovery.

29 March 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Mr. Secretary, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield,

I welcome the many initiatives the new United States administration has already taken to support multilateral responses to global challenges, and to strengthen cooperation between the US and the UN. To mention just three:     

Rejoining the Paris Agreement on climate change sends a message of hope to the world.

Re-committing to the World Health Organization is an important sign of solidarity with the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.