Secretary-General’s remarks at G20 working lunch on Development and Climate Change
Antalya, Turkey, 15 November 2015
Your Excellency Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey,
The critically important climate conference in Paris is now just two weeks away. I would like to commend the leadership of President François Hollande, whose efforts have been crucial in the negotiations and in our broader work to address the climate threat. France has been plunged into crisis by the horrendous terrorist attacks two days ago. But I know that President Hollande, even as he courageously faces that challenge, also remains committed to reaching a good agreement in Paris.
As members of the G20, you have wide-ranging political and moral responsibilities – not just to your own citizens, but to the world. Your actions can be the difference between success and setback in building a safer, more sustainable and prosperous world for all.
G20 members account for more than three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions.
I commend you all for submitting your climate action plans – the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs. So far, 161 countries have submitted INDCs covering 93 per cent of global emissions.
Collectively, they bend the emissions curve down to a temperature rise of approximately 3 degrees Celsius. This is significant progress. But it is not enough.
We have to go much farther and much faster.
The science has made it very clear. Even a 2 degree rise will have serious consequences for food security, economic stability and international security. The world’s Small Island Developing States have even less room to manoeuvre, and are desperately asking the world to keep temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
As we approach Paris, a number of key issues are still in play. They include equity and differentiation, finance and ambition.
These issues have proven too challenging for your negotiators to resolve on their own.
They need clear guidance from you. There is no time left.
The official negotiation period is almost over. The only way to bridge the remaining gaps is for you yourself to engage, with a clear grasp of what is at stake, and give the necessary instructions to your negotiators.
Success in Paris truly rests in your hands.
The world expects you, as leaders of the G20 to provide ambitious political guidance that will help the negotiators to complete their work in Paris.
Tell your negotiators that now is the time for compromise and consensus.
I urge you to look beyond national horizons and work in the common interest.
I see four essential elements that need to come from a Paris agreement — durability, flexibility, solidarity and credibility.
First, the agreement must be durable to give the predictability markets need.
It must provide a comprehensive, long-term vision of the opportunities created by low-emission, climate-resilient development. The private sector needs a clear signal that the low-carbon transformation of the global economy is inevitable, beneficial and already under way.
Second, the agreement must be flexible. Paris must strike a balance between the leadership role of developed countries and the increasing responsibility of developing countries in line with their capabilities and respective levels of development.
Third, the agreement must demonstrate solidarity with the poor and most vulnerable. It must ensure sufficient and balanced adaptation and mitigation support for developing countries to reduce their emissions and strengthen resilience.
Fourth, the agreement must be credible.
It must include regular, short cycles for governments to review and strengthen commitments in line with science and in response to rapidly escalating climate impacts.
There is strong emerging consensus that this should be done every five years, with the first review coming before 2020.
Current ambition must be the floor not the ceiling for future efforts.
Paris must also include a credible single framework for measuring, monitoring and reporting progress in a transparent manner on a full range of actions.
Flexibility and support should be provided to countries with low capacity.
And, last but not least, the agreement must provide for credible climate financing. Developed countries need to uphold their 2009 pledge to provide $100 billion dollars per year by 2020. Clear indications that it will be honoured will help lead to an agreement in Paris. All concerned – both developed and developing countries –must be part of a consultative, politically credible process for defining the $100 billion trajectory. I am encouraged that the Green Climate Fund has approved its first eight projects, with financing of $168 million.
I call on developed countries to make public finance pledges before Paris that balance both mitigation and adaptation needs.
Developed countries must also take the lead in financing after 2020, with $100 billion dollars as the starting point for financing commitments.
Public finance should play a catalytic role in mobilizing the much larger private investment flows needed.
Let us remember: financing is not just a matter of money; it is a question of confidence and trust.
Addressing climate change is critical to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Over the next 15 years, the world will make massive investments in new infrastructure for cities, energy and agriculture.
If the trillions to be spent are directed towards low-carbon goods, technologies and services, we will be well on our way towards a more sustainable, equitable and climate-resilient world.
But if we continue to invest in dirty, fossil fuel-intensive development, the consequences for all countries will be dire.
The time to make the right choice is now. In Paris, let us choose not only to survive, but to thrive.
I count on your leadership in Paris and in the years to come.