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Hailing Alliance of Small Island States’ Efforts, Solutions Combatting Climate Crisis, Secretary-General Affirms United Nations Support, Partnership

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the Alliance of Small Island States Leaders’ Breakfast, in New York today:

I welcome your meeting today under the theme of “Championing Our Own Solutions”.  This is a wonderful representation of the work you have done for so many years.  You have not only led in sounding the alarm about the threat of climate change, you have presented the international community with workable solutions.

These solutions must now make the leap to policy and implementation.  The twenty-seventh Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27)  must demonstrate that the world is making progress on all pillars of the Paris Agreement [on climate change].

We urgently need to address loss and damage in a meaningful and credible way.  Loss and damage are happening now — at 1.1°C of warming.  The floods in Pakistan have inundated a third of the country.  We can only imagine the fate of small islands if we go beyond 1.5°C degrees.  Two degrees of warming is unthinkable and must be avoided at all costs.

We need a targeted, ambitious global response — including how to finance loss and damage, beyond our capacity to adapt.  Polluters must pay.  At the same time, we need to resolve access to finance.  Grants and concessional financing currently fail to account for your islands’ unique vulnerabilities.  The Multi-dimensional Vulnerability Index is a critical tool, and it must be deployed.

The Alliance of Small Island States has long championed the highest level of ambition on climate, often leading by example.  You have also brought solutions and built consensus.  Your voices, as climate leaders, problem solvers and bridge builders, are needed now more than ever.

The United Nation is your steadfast supporter and partner.  We will continue to push for more ambition and climate action by all — especially the Group of 20 (G20), who account for 80 per cent of global emissions.

We will continue to call for a renewables revolution, and for developed countries to provide developing countries with the finance and technology they need to transition to a net-zero and climate resilient future.  We will continue to push developed countries to make good on their $100 billion climate finance commitment.

We will push for developed countries to provide clarity this year on their Glasgow commitment to double adaptation finance.  And we will push to ensure your eligibility and access to that finance.

I thank Prime Minister Gaston Browne for his invitation to speak, and I wish you a successful meeting.  You can count on the continued support of the United Nations for your priorities, and those of all developing countries.  Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.