Environment, climate change

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.

03 November 2021, Cambridge

Remarks at Cambridge University Honorary Degree Ceremony 

Vice Chancellor,
Civic leaders,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for this great honour.

I know that through me, you are recognizing the work of my United Nations colleagues around the world.

Cambridge has enduring links with global governance and the United Nations, from John Maynard Keynes, who played such an important role in establishing international economic institutions after the Second World War, to Margaret Anstee, the first woman to be appointed Assistant Secretary-General. 

02 November 2021, Glasgow, Scotland

Remarks to the Climate Vulnerable Forum Leaders Dialogue

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.

01 November 2021, Glasgow

Remarks to the World Leaders Summit - COP26

Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the opening of the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo: United Nations

[All-English version; scroll down for all-French version]

Dear Prime Minister Johnson, I want to thank you and to thank COP President Alok Sharma for your hospitality, your leadership, and your tireless efforts in the preparation of this COP.

Your Royal Highnesses,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The six years since the Paris Climate Agreement have been the six hottest years on record. 

Our addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink.

We face a stark choice:  Either we stop it — or it stops us. 

26 October 2021, General Assembly

Remarks to the High-Level Meeting on Delivering Climate Action - for People, Planet & Prosperity

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

Mr. President of the General Assembly — thank you very for convening us and for your commitment and leadership mobilizing us all for climate action.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen.

The United Nations and this assembly were created precisely for the kind of challenge that brings us together today.

The climate crisis is a code red for humanity.

This assembly — and governments around the world — face a moment of truth.

26 October 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at the launch of the Emissions Gap 2021 Report press conference

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.

23 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at virtual meeting with Pacific Islands Forum Leaders

Dear Prime Minister,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for the opportunity to once again address the Pacific Islands Forum.

Your nations are confronting a dual crisis of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both threaten Pacific lives and livelihoods.

If we follow the current path, the consequences of climate disruption for the prosperity, the well-being and the very survival of Pacific communities will be severe.

I witnessed the impacts first-hand during my visit two years ago.

24 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks to High-level Dialogue on Energy

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

Excellencies, Friends,

Welcome to the High-Level Dialogue on Energy.

This event is long overdue.

It has been 40 years since we last discussed energy at the highest level.

Today, we face a moment of truth.

Close to 760 million people still lack access to electricity.

Some 2.6 billion people lack access to clean cooking solutions.

And how we produce and use energy is the main cause of the climate crisis.