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Press Conference by Secretary-General António Guterres at United Nations Headquarters

Following is the transcript of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ press conference with Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), at the launch of the UNEP report titled “Making Peace with Nature:  A scientific blueprint to tackle the climate, biodiversity and pollution emergencies”, in New York today:

Spokesman:  All right.  It’s 11 here in New York.  Good morning.  We’re delighted to have the Secretary‑General with us, and we are joined and hopefully connected with the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, Inger Andersen, who is joining us from Copenhagen.

They are both here to talk to you about the need to focus on the triple emergencies of climate, biodiversity and pollution, as outlined in UNEP’s latest report, “Making Peace with Nature:  A scientific blueprint to tackle the climate, biodiversity and pollution emergencies”.

After their introductory remarks, the Secretary‑General will take a few questions.  Then he will have to leave, and Ms. Andersen will stay a bit longer to answer further questions.

Reminder, if you’re in the room, just wave if you want to ask a question.  If you are connected by WebEx, just signal in the chat, and we will try to get to you.

So, Secretary‑General, without further ado, you have the floor.

Secretary-General:  Good day to everybody, everywhere.

I am pleased to join the launch of this important report from the United Nations Environment Programme on Making Peace with Nature.

I want to be clear.  Without nature’s help, we will not thrive or even survive.

For too long, we have been waging a senseless and suicidal war on nature.  The result is three interlinked environmental crises:  climate disruption, biodiversity loss and pollution that threaten our viability as a species.  They are caused by unsustainable production and consumption.

Human well-being lies in protecting the health of the planet.  It’s time to re-evaluate and reset our relationship with nature.  This report can help us do so.

Today, around the world, we are overexploiting and degrading the environment on land and sea.  The atmosphere and the oceans have become dumping grounds for our waste.  And Governments are still paying more to exploit nature than to protect it.  Globally, countries spend some 4 to 6 trillion dollars a year on subsidies that damage the environment.

The interlinked climate, biodiversity and pollution crises require urgent action from the whole of society — from Governments, but also from international organizations, from businesses, from cities and individuals.  People’s choices matter.  For example, some two thirds of global CO2 emissions are directly or indirectly linked to households.

This new report brings together the key insights of all the most important environmental assessments of recent years.  And it uses those insights to chart a path towards a sustainable future.

The report shows that the global economy has grown nearly fivefold in the past five decades, but at massive cost to the global environment.  Earth is heading for more than 3°C of global warming this century.

The burden falls disproportionately on women, who represent 80 per cent of those displaced by climate disruption.  More than 1 million of the planet’s estimated 8 million plant and animal species are at risk of extinction.  And diseases caused by air pollution cause some 6.5 million premature deaths every year.  And polluted water kills a further 1.8 million, predominantly children.  Meanwhile, 1.3 billion people remain poor and some 700 million are hungry.

The only answer is sustainable development that elevates the well-being of both people and the planet.  The report points to many ways we can accomplish this.

For example, Governments can include natural capital in measures of economic performance and promote a circular economy.  They can agree to not support the kind of agriculture that destroys or pollutes nature.  They can put a price on carbon.  They can shift subsidies from fossil fuels towards low-carbon and nature-friendly solutions.  The bottom line is that we need to transform how we view and value nature.

We must reflect nature’s true value in all our policies, plans and economic systems.  With a new consciousness, we can direct investment into policies and activities that protect and restore nature and the rewards will be immense.  It’s time we learned to see nature as an ally that will help us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

This year, beginning with next week’s United Nations Environment Assembly, a number of key international environmental conferences are very important — they include climate change, chemicals, biodiversity, desertification and oceans — and they can help to propel us on the path to sustainability.

One key moment occurs tomorrow, when I will welcome the United States of America back into the Paris Agreement on climate change.  This strengthens global action.  President [Joe] Biden’s commitment to net zero emissions means that countries producing now two thirds of global carbon pollution are pursuing the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

But we need to make this coalition truly global and transformative.  If adopted by every country, city, financial institution and company around the world, a global coalition for carbon neutrality by 2050 can still prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

But we cannot delay.  We are running out of time to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C and build resilience to the impacts to come.  We also need equal urgency and ambition to address how we produce our food and manage our water, land and oceans.  Developing countries need more assistance.  Only then can we protect and restore nature and get back on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

This report shows that we have the knowledge and the ability to meet these challenges.  The path to a sustainable economy exists — driven by renewable energy, sustainable food systems and nature-based solutions.  It leads to an inclusive world at peace with nature.  This is the vision we must adopt.

And obviously, I am at your disposal, together with Inger Andersen, for any question after she presents the report.

Spokesman:  Great.  Thank you very much.  So, before we turn to questions, I turn the floor to Inger Andersen.  Ms. Andersen, welcome, and you have the floor.

Inger Andersen:  Thank you so much, and good morning.

This new report from the UNEP (the UN Environment Programme), “Making Peace with Nature”, provides the most-compelling scientific case yet for why we have to tackle the three planetary crises that we just heard the Secretary-General outline:  climate, nature and pollution.  And we have to tackle these crises as one linked challenge.  The report gathers the sum of knowledge from major scientific assessments to deliver one clear and unified message:  we are destroying the planet, placing our own health and prosperity at risk.

The “net-zero club” of countries is growing.  And yet, we are still not on course to where we need to be.  Right now, we are projecting at least a 3°C temperature rise this century.  There is greater awareness than ever of the impact of biodiversity loss on poverty reduction and human health.  And yet, we have lost 10 per cent of forest cover since 1990.  As the Secretary-General noted, the global economy has grown nearly fivefold.  And yet, the stock of natural capital (i.e., the stock of natural capital per person, i.e., the world’s wealth in terms of geology, soil, air and water — in essence, the building blocks of life) declined by nearly 40 per cent.  Human ingenuity has increased food crop production by 300 per cent since 1970.  And yet, fertilizers entering coastal ecosystems have produced “dead zones”, greater than the size of the United Kingdom.

The environmental emergencies that have been outlined in the report all flow directly from humanity’s overconsumption of resources, overproduction of waste and prioritization of short-term gain — with the consequences of long-term pain.

But all is not lost.  The report also lays out how ambitious and coordinated actions by Governments, businesses and people can restore the planet to health.  Human initiative, technology and cooperation can transform societies and economies — through shifts in sectors like energy, water and food, and support for alternative livelihoods and new business models.

The report tells us that economic and financial systems can power the shift to sustainability.  Governments, as we just heard, can put a price on carbon and redirect trillions of dollars away from harmful subsidies.  And all of these can lead towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

Crucially, we can achieve rapid progress by addressing the three crises together.  Not in fragmentation.  Meeting the Paris Agreement goals requires the rapid transformation in energy systems, in land use, in agriculture, in forest protection, and in urban development and infrastructure and lifestyles — all of which would have positive impact on climate, on pollution and on biodiversity.  Quickly reducing greenhouse gas emissions will also make it easier and cheaper for vulnerable countries to adapt to climate change.

By fully implementing the international conventions that touch on chemicals, waste and climate change, we can save millions of lives each year, as we heard from the Secretary-General.  Private citizens, as we also heard, can also play very much their part — by changing their diets, their travel habits, reducing their consumption of water and energy, and by exercising their civic rights.

This year, our will to act must match up with the science in this report — which would not have been possible without the much-appreciated support from the EU and the Norwegian Environment Agency.

We have to use this report as a guide to embark on a sustainable recovery from the pandemic:  to make strong and meaningful commitments at the summits; to follow up with immediate action, because there are no back-up plans for a planet in emergency; to redesign our economies; and to ensure a just transition for all.

There is indeed no precedent for what we have to do, but if 2020 was a disaster, let 2021 then be the year humanity began making peace with nature and secured a fair, just and sustainable future for everyone.

Thank you.

Spokesman:  Inger, thank you very much.

We’ll now take some questions.  I would just ask you to stay on the climate topic, if you can.  Thank you.

Valeria, on behalf of UNCA [UN Correspondents Association].

Question:  Thank you.  Thank you, Secretary‑General, for this press conference on behalf of UNCA.  So, tomorrow, you will celebrate the US return to the Paris Agreement with the new special presidential envoy on climate John Kerry.  So, you said you looked forward to the leadership of the United States in accelerating the global efforts towards the net zero.  My question is, I was wondering, which are the first steps do you expect or do you hope from the United States?  Thank you so much.

Secretary-General:  Well, first of all, the fact that United States is joining the Paris Agreement is in itself very important.  A number of measures were already taken by the US Administration in different aspects related to energy and other climate‑related issues.  It was also announced that the US would restart their financial support to the developing world in regard to climate change.

And I would say that there are two fundamental contributions that we need from the US.  The first is the presentation of Nationally Determined Contributions, Nationally Determined Contributions that will present the immediate action of the United States and the measures in the horizon of 2030, and we hope that they will translate into a very meaningful reduction of emissions and that they will be an example for other countries to follow.

And the second is a strong engagement in the international negotiation that is necessary for the success of the COP26.  We must build a global coalition for net zero.  We must put a new emphasis on adaptation and shifting from 20 to 50 per cent the global climate finance to adaptation, and we must guarantee to the developing world that the promises that were made in Paris will be met, $100 billion, funds to adaptation and mitigation but also the mobilization of the different international financial institutions and the capacity to create the conditions for the private sector also to massively invest in climate action, not only in the global north, but also in the global south.

In all these aspects, the US is the largest economy in the world, can play an extremely important role, and the technological capacity of the US will be, of course, very, very important and will substantially change the possibility of a successful negotiation for the COP26 in Glasgow.

Spokesman:  James Bays, Al Jazeera.

Question:  Secretary‑General, following up from that and the US role, you have been Secretary‑General for four years.  The Trump Administration was in office for most of that time.  How much did the Trump Administration set back global efforts on climate change, not just by their own actions but by giving space to others who were sceptical about multilateral efforts?

Secretary-General:  There was no contribution from the US Government, but I think it’s important to say that, when one looks at the American society — and today, Governments have much less power than in the past — we have seen a fantastic mobilization of the private sector, of the cities, of some states, of the civil society as a whole, and that has allowed the situation that we have today in which the US is still on time to be fully on track for the net zero in 2050 and for being part of the global effort to keep the temperatures below 1.5° of growth in the end of the century.

Spokesman:  Thank you.  Seth Borenstein, Seth, from the Associated Press.

Question:  Yes, thank you.  Secretary‑General, if you don’t mind, looking at the three problems together in how they intertwine, how close would you say we are to the point where you would consider it sort of too late for the planet or too late for humanity’s well‑being, as the report talks, or is there no time when we would be too late?  Because … report keeps talking about we’re getting close, we’re getting close, but we never seem to be there.  How close are we, or is there really a “there”?

Secretary-General:  I think 2021 is a make‑it‑or‑break‑it year.  We are not too late, but we need to make sure that we are able, not only to create the conditions for a drastic reduction of emissions in the horizon of the next decade, making it possible to achieve the limit of 1.5°, this is the year where we need to have a new framework to preserve biodiversity, and this is the year where we need to take a number of very important measures to reduce pollution.  I mean, it’s a make‑it‑or‑break‑it year, indeed, because the risks of things becoming irreversible is gaining ground every single year.

But this requires a mind shift.  Just to give you an example of how important is this mind shift requirement, even in the way we organize economic policies and economic data, we can see the GDP growth when we overfish.  We are destroying nature, but we count it as increase of wealth.  We can see the GDP growth when we cut forests, and we are destroying nature, and we are destroying wealth, but we consider it GDP growth.  And many other activities that destroy nature and many other activities that undermine our future are still considered to be part of the growth of the global economy.

So, I mean, there is a fundamental shift in the way we measure the economy, in the way we behave as citizens and in the way we behave as countries.  And without that fundamental shift, the targets that we have fixed in relation to biodiversity, in relation to pollution, and in relation to climate change, will not be achievable.

And we are close to a point of no return.  It is obvious that, just to give an example, temperature rise has already reached 1.2°.  So, if we want to keep it to 1.5 until the end of the century, it is clear that we are very close to the point of no return.

Spokesman:  Thank you.  We’ll go now to Dezhi Xu from China Central TV.  Dezhi Xu?

China Central TV, are you able to connect?

Correspondent:  Yes, I… okay…

[cross talk]

Spokesman:  I hear you.

Correspondent:  Hi.

Spokesman:  Go ahead.

Question:  Hi, hello, Secretary-General.  Yes.  Okay.  The question is, now we know that… now the United States is experiencing a very heavy snow, very extreme winter, winter storms.  Some people might argue that this is actually… the weather get cooler, not get higher, so there are people denying the change, the climate change, the global warming.

So, do you think this is one of the cause, climate is one of the cause that caused the extreme winter weather?

And how do you address those things to those people who deny this?  Because we know we’re talking about triple threats.  We’re talking about how the Governments and institutes should do about this, but how to change the mind of people that the climate is real?  Thank you.

Secretary-General:  Well, we are having global warming, clearly, as an average in the world.  But at the same time, as we are having global warming as an average, another impact of climate change is that all storms, all oscillations are becoming more extreme.  So, if you look at hurricanes, if you look at storms, but also if you look at heatwaves and coldwaves, they are becoming more extreme because of climate change.

Climate change amplifies.  So, as an average, the temperature is growing, and is growing too quickly.  But the impact of storms of all kinds, including snowstorms, is also increasing dramatically.  So, all this is a result, to a large extent, of climate change.  And when they say, well, we don’t need to be worried because, as a matter of fact, we are having a coldwave, this is total lack of scientific knowledge.  This is complete ignorance.

The fact is that those oscillations, even if they are oscillations to low temperatures in some situations, when they are too large and when are accompanied by dramatic storms, they are exactly an effect of the disequilibrium, the global disequilibrium, that is caused by climate change.

Spokesman:  Thank you.  I think we have to let the Secretary‑General go.

[cross talk]

Correspondent:  Thank you.

Secretary-General:  One last?

Spokesman:  One last one?  Majeed.

Question:  Thank you very much.  Secretary‑General, if you don’t mind, I would like to ask you about two pressing issue not related to climate.  Right now is a growing crisis right now in, I’m sure you saw it in the news in the Middle East.  There has been another attack by… not sure but another attack on US forces in Iraq recently.  The White House commented on it and said, “We reserve the right to respond,” which is an indication to Iran‑backed militias.

We are back at this point, just like last year, of this point of high tension.  And the President of Kurdistan region, in a message to United Nations and to you, said, “We want the United Nations to take this seriously and make sure the Iraqi Government work on solving the issue of disputed territories,” which is where the attack was originated from.

Secretary-General:  We are strongly supportive of the integrity, the sovereignty and the independence of Iraq.  We condemn all attacks of this nature, and we hope that it will be possible to find a path for Iraq to become a very important pillar of stability in the Gulf area.

Thank you very much, thank you.

[cross talk]

Question:  On vaccines… one question on vaccines, Secretary‑General.  Yesterday, you said, you criticized those developing countries for not having any vaccines, zero vaccine, in those countries.  Right now, we have seen millions in Western countries, in the United States…

Secretary-General:  Well, I think yesterday I was very clear on what needs to be done is a global vaccination plan that makes sure that all vaccines come everywhere on time and in an affordable way.

Thank you very much.

Spokesman:  Thank you.  Inger will take… thank you.  We will go to Victoria Gill from the BBC.  Victoria?

Question:  Hello.  I was… thank you very much for taking my question.  I was hoping to ask the Secretary‑General and Ms. Andersen, as well, two questions.  One, the… in the Secretary‑General’s comments, he highlights and in the report there’s a highlight about putting a price on carbon.  I wondered if I could ask about that as a specific situation.  It’s very neat if it works, but it does rely on the markets as it’s done being compatible with fixing climate change.  So, any further comments on that?  Is that the case?

And also, there is increasing talk of the urgency of addressing this, but the question of urgency has been going on for a long time.  So, I just wondered what hopes were for what a good outcome from COP26 would actually look like.

Spokesman:  Inger, please.

Ms. Andersen:  If I may, yeah.  And Secretary‑General has been calling for getting a price on carbon, and we have certainly echoed that.  This deals with, obviously, the Paris Accord and finalizing in specific pertaining to article 6.  But beyond that, we know and we’ve seen in economies across the world that when pollution is taxed, when you have to pay to cause effluent, when it is not possible just to treat the global commons, our environment, as a global garbage dump, when you put a ceiling on limits on it, well, then institutions, Governments and, certainly, industry shift.  And, so, that’s a broader issue.

Now, it is a negotiation but… and there are countries that are leaning in and doing it at the national or at a regional level, but we need to pursue this, well understanding that that is… will rely on the market.  But we also know — let’s be honest — that taxing pollution works.  So, I will leave it at that.

On the urgency and what we would hope to see in Glasgow — and the Secretary‑General mentioned it well — we, obviously, want to see ambitious NDCs, Nationally Determined Contributions, these plans that governance will submit.  We want them to stretch.  In Paris, we agreed that we would meet every five years to come up with a stretched NDC.  Now is the time to stretch, because as we know, we are on course for a 3° Centigrade increase this century, which is not where we want to land.  And as SG pointed out, we are already seeing around 1 to 1.2 degrees at this point.  So, that leaves very little wiggle room.  And clearly, we need to see those NDCs.

Plus, let’s be clear, financing, what was promised back in Copenhagen of 100 billion by 2020 per year in climate finance has not been delivered.  That needs to happen now.  And as we said… heard from the SG, we need to see equal finance as per… I think it’s article 9 on the Paris Accord.  Equal finance to mitigation, as well as to adaptation.  Poor countries will suffer the most from the climate impacts and have done the least to cause it.  Let me stop here.

Spokesman:  Thank you very much.  Pamela Falk, CBS News, Pamela?

Question:  Thank you, Steph, and thank you to the ED.  My question is to Ms. Andersen, the Executive Director, is about previous climate reports, both by UNEP and the UN say that the world is not meeting the Paris Climate Accords.  What is your best hope in terms of the world and in terms of the United States and this meeting tomorrow with the US Special Envoy and the Secretary‑General to highlight the anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement?  Thank you.

Ms. Andersen:  Well, at this point, we have 126 nations that have signed up to what I like to refer to as a “net‑zero club”, and we saw the EU doing that in Madrid.  We saw, obviously, China doing it in terms of net zero before 2060, Korea, Japan and another… large number of countries.  That adds up to nearly two thirds of all emissions, some 65 per cent or so.  If the US comes in, obviously, that will up it even further.

So, first, we would like to see… and it’s impressive that we see a number of developing countries even putting up their hand and saying, We are stepping in to net‑zero commitments, even countries that have been minor emissions, so more crowd‑in on that would be important.

Clearly, what the world would like to see from the US is net‑zero commitment.  I’m sure we’ve seen that as part of the Biden platform, and clearly, what we hope is that these actionable… that each of these NDCs, including that of the US, will be actionable.  And that means… it’s a little bit like the marathon runner who says on January 1 that he will run the marathon in December, but the training starts on January 2.

So, in these NDCs, we don’t want to kick that can further down the road.  We do want to see countries delivering year‑on‑year with measurable actions so that we can see every five years, as we meet in COP, there will be stock‑taking, that we’re actually making a progress and driving down from where we’re now projecting, because our reports now project if we deliver on the unconditional NDC a 2.7° increase, and we want to bring that down through the net‑zero commitments.  Thank you.

Correspondent:  Thank you.

Spokesman:  Thank you.  Iftikhar Ali, Iftikhar, Associated Press of Pakistan.

Question:  Thank you, Steph.  My question was asked, but I will utilize this opportunity to ask Ms. Andersen whether she has any specific message for developing countries which pollute less and suffer more because of global warming, floods, storms and now, above all, smog.

Ms. Andersen:  Thank you so much.  I think the message would be, first of all — and Pakistan is a very interesting example — in investing back in nature, in restoring nature, in re‑restoration of degraded ecosystems and also ensuring that we invest in the civil… in the urban landscape, because the more we do that on the adaptation side, we will cool, by having trees in the streets, etc., investing in nature, but also understanding that making that energy transformation, leaping into that, the word that the SG uses, is actually job‑enhancing, is actually good business, will actually drive a renewed economy that can be competitive.

And, so, obviously, finance has to be on the table, as I said, but also ensuring that there is support to and plans in place to shift from high‑carbon intensity in economies towards lower carbon.

As urbanization is happening and as we see 90 per cent of urbanization being in the developing world, there is a real opportunity to rethink the urban landscape, as well, smart infrastructure, urban transport that is clean, conversion of motor vehicle and air, that kind of infrastructure.  That takes regulations; it takes private sector, and these are the kind of settings that can be put in place.

Finally, I should mention Morocco as an example or Kenya or many other countries, of course, that have invested, 10 years ago, in renewable energy and now are significant producers of renewable from dual thermal wind and solar.

Spokesman:  Thank you…

[cross talk]

Correspondent:  Thank you.

Spokesman:  Mr. Sato from… go ahead, Iftikhar.

Mr. Sato, Japanese Television, NHK, Sato.

Question:  Thank you very much for your time.  My question is about US‑China relationship.  UN is welcoming the United States’ return to the Paris Accord tomorrow, like we all said.  At the same time, US and the China relationship, in many way, difficult and intense.  So, what do you expect the cooperation between China and the US in terms of climate action?  And do you have any message to both the leader of the China and the US?  Thank you.

Ms. Andersen:  Thank you.  The interesting part about environment and environmental challenges is that they often unite people; whereas other things can drive division, we are on this one planet together, and understanding that if I have climate change, then you have climate change.  It is not something that one country is isolated or insulated from.

So, I believe that in the wisdom of the leadership that we have seen and the commitments that we have seen — you mentioned China and the US — the commitments that we have seen on the climate dimension in China, for sure, and in the promises of the Biden Administration that, in that setting, we will find common ground.  And I believe that that’s very much the sense and the understanding in both of these countries, as well as in any number of other countries, because what we have seen in the climate talks, as well as in biodiversity talks, that whilst there may have been conflictual issues between country A and country B, in fact, environment tends to unite more than it divides.

Spokesman:  Thank you very much.  Megan Rowling, Thomson Reuters, Megan?

Question:  Hi.  Hello, Ms. Andersen.  I have a question with regard to the United States and the Convention on Biological Diversity.  I believe the US is not actually a part of this CBD, and I’m just wondering whether you have any indication of how the Biden Administration plans to engage with this process for the COP15 for the new global framework on biodiversity.

Ms. Andersen:  Thank you.  You’re right.  The US is not a party to the Convention.  Having been at many of the COPs, I can say, however, that the US plays a very active role in the Convention, often would be speaking in the plenary and pushing on along the same lines.

So, whilst I’m not and have not been privy to any conversations regarding becoming a party, I have every faith that the Administration would push on the clim — excuse me — on the biodiversity objectives.  We’ve seen that in previous administrations with significant expansion of protected areas, of national monuments and of a degree of folding in nature into urban and other planning.  So, I am optimistic that that kind of policy will, indeed, continue, and I know that the US will continue to send strong delegation and adding good science to the work of the Biodiversity Convention.

And if I may, the US is, however, very engaged in other conventions that deal with nature, including CITES, the convention that deals with illegal wildlife trade and legal wildlife trade, which will also have a COP this year, and so we are expecting US to continue to play a big role in the nature and biodiversity area.

Spokesman:  Thank you.  We’ll now go to India, Urmi, New Economic Times of India.

Question:  Good evening, Ms. Andersen.  I just wanted to ask you if this… because you’re dealing with the three problems of climate change, climate change, pollution and loss of biodiversity, do you see this as an opportunity to [inaudible] the conversation on the global pact on environment, which basically will bring together all of the environment‑related sort of agreements under one roof, that… like a super agreement?

And on the net‑zero question, I know there’s a lot of excitement on the net‑zero question, but how do you ensure that the near‑term goals, the NDCs are in the first… I mean after 2030 are more robust so we are front‑loading action and the net‑zero announcements don’t become an excuse for countries to postpone act… major part of their action?

Spokesman:  Thank you.  Ms. Andersen?

Ms. Andersen:  Thank you.  With respect to the global pact, I think it’s important to say that, when it was discussed at the UN, it was handed over to be further considered — that’s resolution 73/333 — to be further considered in the context of UNEP, and those consultations are under way as we speak and will be reported into the unite… to the resumed session of the United Nations Environment Programme.

No, we would not see that as a sort of super‑structure in any way, but we would call on a strong support to national environmental legislation and support to capacity‑building, because countries have signed up… what we need maybe is more that countries have the capacity to technical support and the financial support to implement the undertakings that they have taken in these various commitments.

On the net-zero and how to ensure that near term becomes more robust, just to say, yes, net-zero is not a sort of… cannot serve as an excuse — “We made our promise; we just continue as we were” — which is why this Nationally Determined Contribution have to be translatable into near‑term action.  That is what the UK presidency is calling for.  That is what the Secretary‑General is calling for and is certainly what Patricia Espinosa, the Executive Secretary of the Convention, is calling for:  that these NDCs have clear timelines between '20 and '25, 2020 and 2025 — now it will be '21 — precisely to show how they are delivered.

And I hope… and, of course, we from UNEP will issue a GAP report that will tell how countries are doing, which is sort of the report card that we issue prior to every COP, and we will do so again this year, holding countries, if I may say so, to account for the promises that they are making.

Spokesman:  Thank you very much.  I don’t see any further questions.  So, I want to thank Ms. Andersen and the UNEP team for joining us and thank all of you who have dialled in and wish you all a great remainder of the day wherever you may be.  Take care.

For information media. Not an official record.