UN Secretary-General’s remarks at the closing of the High-Level Segment of the Talanoa Dialogue, COP-24

The words of UN Secretary General António Guterres at COP24 leave no room for misunderstanding: choices on climate change can no longer be postponed.

Antònio Guterres, UN Secretary-General.
Antònio Guterres, UN Secretary General.

The UN Secretary General came back to Katowice (PL), where the fate of the Paris Agreement and the future of the whole world are being decided. “Talanoa’s spirit is exactly how we can achieve a successful result in these last crucial days of COP24”, he states.

He briefly recalls the effort of the last days. “Over the last 10 days, many of you have worked long, hard hours and I want to acknowledge your efforts. But we need to accelerate those efforts to reach consensus if we want to follow-up on the commitments made in Paris. The Katowice package needs to deliver the Paris Agreement Work Program, progress on finance and a strong basis for the revision of National Determined Contributions under the Talanoa Dialogue. These three components are linked by one central idea—boosting ambition.”

Ambition is the key driver as far as it concerns finance, politicy framework (the Paris Agreement Rules must be approved) and common responsibility towards the whole world. “We have the ways. What we need is the political will to move forward” follows the UN Secretary General.

Here you may read an excerpt from his last declaration:

“We no longer have the luxury of time. That’s why we need to have our work here in Katowice finalized—and finalized in less than three days. Meeting your deadline means we can immediately unleash the full potential of the Paris Agreement and its promise of a low-emissions climate-resilient future. Ladies and gentlemen, I understand that none of this is easy. I understand some of you will need to make some tough political decisions. But this is the time for consensus. This is the time for political compromises to be reached. This means sacrifices, but it will benefit us all collectively. I challenge you to work together for that purpose. I challenge you to accelerate and finish the job. And to raise ambition on all fronts. To waste this opportunity in Katowice would compromise our last best chance to stop runaway climate change. It would not only be immoral, it would be suicidal. This may sound like a dramatic appeal, but it is exactly this: a dramatic appeal. Let us then carry forth the spirit of the Talanoa Dialogue in these crucial next few days and let us heed its messages. It’s about more than the future of each country. I have three young granddaughters. I will not be here at the end of the century. The same probably applies to all of you. I do not want my granddaughters or anybody else’s to suffer the consequences of our failures. They would not forgive us if uncontrolled and spiraling climate change would be our legacy to them.Thank you.”

To read the full press release click here.

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