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With Environment Catastrophe ‘Knocking on Everyone’s Door’, Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Investment Must End, Secretary-General Tells Bloomberg Climate Champions Summit

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the Bloomberg X Climate Champions Summit, in New York today:

I thank Michael Bloomberg, Special Envoy for Climate Solutions and Ambition, for convening this important meeting.

I was recently in Pakistan, where I was horrified at the devastation and suffering caused by the unprecedented floods.  Today it is Pakistan, but climate catastrophe is knocking on everyone’s door.  That is why we must treat adaptation and resilience-building with the utmost urgency.  As promised, adaptation finance must be doubled to $40 billion a year, as a start.

But, ultimately, the only way to protect our societies is to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.  That means a 45 per cent reduction in greenhouse‑gas emissions this decade and net zero emissions by 2050.

Today, the world is on track for a 14 per cent increase in emissions by 2030.  This is totally unacceptable.  We must keep 1.5°C alive.  That means swift and immediate emission cuts.  We need all hands on deck.  Plans need to be clear and verifiable.  Transparency and accountability are key.

I particularly call for financial institutions to end investment in coal.  Subsidies for fossil fuels must end.  No loopholes and no exceptions.  I have mobilized a diverse group of experts from developing and developed countries to prepare concrete and precise parameters for truly credible net-zero pledges by non-State actors.

We have only one option:  a decarbonized and climate-resilient future.  I count on you all to make this a reality.  Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.