Environment, climate change

17 June 2022, Washington D.C.

Secretary-General's virtual remarks to Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate 

President Biden, Excellencies, 

I thank President Biden for this opportunity. 

I will be brief and, if you’ll allow me, I will be blunt. 

You represent the major economies – and the major emitters – of the world.  

The first duty of leadership is to protect people from clear and present dangers.   

Now nothing could be more clear or present than the danger of fossil fuel expansion. 

Even in the short-term, it doesn’t make political or economic sense. 

02 June 2022, Stockholm, Sweden

Secretary-General's remarks to Stockholm+50 international meeting 

Excellencies, 

Friends, 

Fifty years ago, the United Nations convened the landmark Conference on the Human Environment here in Stockholm. 

World leaders recognized that we have a collective responsibility to protect the environment so humanity can enjoy peace, prosperity and sustainable progress. 

And indeed, over that time humanity has progressed.   

But today global well-being is in jeopardy, in large part because we have not kept our promises on the environment. 

11 May 2022, Vienna

Secretary-General's opening remarks at joint press conference with Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg of Austria

Chancellor Nehammer, ladies and gentlemen of the press, Minister Schallenberg, I want to begin by expressing my deep gratitude for your country’s generous support to the United Nations and unwavering commitment to multilateralism.

This support and commitment are more critical today than ever.

We face multiple and interlinked global crises, and a proliferation of conflicts – not least the Russian invasion of Ukraine which is a violation of its territorial integrity and a violation of the Charter of the United Nations.   

11 May 2022, Vienna

Secretary-General's opening remarks at press encounter with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen

Ladies and Gentlemen – good morning.

I want to thank President Van der Bellen, and please convey my deep gratitude to the Government and people of Austria for their excellent hospitality in relation to this visit, but also structural hospitality for the UN agencies in Vienna – an outstanding place to work due to the generosity of the Austrian government and Austrian people.

It is wonderful to be back in Vienna – an important hub of the international system and a cherished home for many United Nations entities.

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. 

03 March 2022, UN Headquarters

Secretary-General's remarks to the Opening Session of the Fourth CARICOM-SICA Summit

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

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

I want to start by expressing my deepest apologies for not being able to join you in person.

I want to thank you profoundly for your understanding, but I am very sorry I cannot go. 

As you know well, pressing global events are keeping me in New York.

My heart is very much with you.

I look forward to seeing all of you in person in the near future.

Belize is an inspired place to hold your joint Summit.

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.

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.