The Secretary General insisted on the need for leadership to “cure” the planet from the “disease” caused by climate change. “The success of COP28 depends on a credible focus on three areas: reducing emissions and fossil fuels along with climate justice,” he said, warning that “the vital signs of the Earth are failing: record emissions, ferocious fires, deadly droughts and the hottest year ever.”
“We are kilometers away from the objectives of the Paris Agreement and minutes from midnight for the 1.5 degree limit, but it is not too late,” he added, insisting that for the summit to be successful it is necessary to drastically reduce emissions, a change that the members of the G20 must lead, where 80 percent of these are concentrated. “I urge countries to speed-up their net-zero emissions schedules, to get as close as possible to 2040 in developed countries and 2050 in emerging economies,” he said.
He also called to hasten “a fair and equitable transition towards renewable energies”, which double the energy efficiency. “The path to climate sustainability is also the only viable path to economic sustainability for fossil fuel companies,” he emphasized.
Guterres urged governments to help the industry make the right choice: regulate, legislate, put a fair price on carbon, end fossil fuel subsidies and adopt an extraordinary tax on profits.
As the last point in his speech, the secretary general urged for climate justice in a context where underdeveloped countries are devastated by disasters they did not cause.
“Developed countries must show how they will double adaptation finance to $40 billion a year by 2025 – as promised – and pointed out how they will deliver 100 billion dollars – as promised,” he said.
“Protecting our climate is the greatest test of leadership in the world,” said Guterres with a clear call to the planet’s leaders to lead the change. “I urge you to lead, the destiny of humanity is at stake,” he remarked.