UN Secretary-General's press encounter at COP28

<p>Good morning.</p><p>We are in a race against time.&nbsp;</p><p>As I said at the opening of COP28, our planet is minutes to midnight for the 1.5 degree limit.<br>And the clock keeps ticking.&nbsp;</p><p>COP28 is scheduled to wrap up tomorrow, but there are still large gaps that need to be bridged.</p><p>Now is the time for maximum ambition and maximum flexibility.&nbsp;</p><p>Ministers and negotiators must move beyond arbitrary red lines, entrenched positions and blocking tactics.</p><p>It is time to go into overdrive to negotiate in good faith and rise to the challenge set by COP President Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber.</p><p>It is time to seek compromise for solutions – without compromising on the science or compromising on the need for the highest ambition.</p><p>In our fractured and divided world, COP28 can show that multilateralism remains our best hope to tackle global challenges.</p><p>Specifically, I ask Parties to ensure maximum ambition on two fronts:&nbsp;</p><p>First, ambition on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Second, ambition on delivering climate justice.&nbsp;</p><p>The Global Stocktake must offer a clear plan for a tripling of renewables, a doubling of energy efficiency and a single-minded focus on tackling the root cause of the climate crisis – fossil fuel<br>production and consumption.&nbsp;</p><p>Of course, transformation won’t happen overnight.&nbsp;</p><p>Decarbonization will create millions of decent new jobs, but governments must also ensure support, training and social protection for those who may be negatively impacted.&nbsp;</p><p>At the same time, the needs of developing countries highly dependent on the production of fossil fuels must also be addressed.</p><p>But it is essential that the Global Stocktake recognizes the need to phase out all fossil fuels on a timeframe consistent with the 1.5 degree limit -- and to accelerate a just, equitable and orderly energy transition for all.</p><p>A transition that takes into account the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and reflective capabilities, in light of national circumstances – not to reduce ambition but to combine ambition and equity.</p><p>That is the reason I proposed the Climate Solidarity Pact – in which big emitters make extra efforts to cut emissions and wealthier countries support emerging economies to be able to do so.&nbsp;</p><p>The timelines and targets might be different for countries at different levels of development, but they all must be consistent with achieving global net zero by 2050 and preserving the 1.5 degree goal.&nbsp;</p><p>Second, it is time for more ambition on climate justice.&nbsp;</p><p>COP28 began with two encouraging steps: agreement to operationalize the Loss and Damage Fund, and replenishment of the Green Climate Fund.</p><p>It is a start, but much more is needed.&nbsp;</p><p>Many developing countries are drowning in debt, have no fiscal space, and are churning in climate chaos.&nbsp;</p><p>We need all commitments made by developed countries on finance and adaptation to be met -- fully and transparently.&nbsp;</p><p>We need increased capital and reform of the business model of multilateral development banks to massively increase direct support – and to leverage far more private finance at reasonable costs for developing countries climate action efforts.</p><p>And we need far more adaptation ambition.&nbsp;</p><p>COP28 must send clear signals that governments have grasped the scale of the adaptation challenge, and that it is a priority not just for developing countries, but the entire world.</p><p>I welcome the emerging consensus for a new framework on adaptation with a set of measurable targets to propel action.</p><p>But a framework without the means of implementation is like a car without wheels. &nbsp;</p><p>The doubling of adaptation finance to $40 billion dollars by 2025 must be an initial step towards allocating at least half of all climate finance towards adaptation.&nbsp;</p><p>Looking ahead, the next two years are vital.</p><p>First, to establish a new and meaningful global climate finance goal beyond 2025, reflecting the scale and urgency of the climate challenge.&nbsp;</p><p>Second, for governments to prepare and present new national climate action plans – or Nationally Determined Contributions – that are economy-wide, cover all greenhouse gases and are fully aligned with the 1.5 degree temperature limit.</p><p>Governments must leave Dubai with a clear understanding of what is required between now and [COP30] in Brazil.</p><p>So as we approach the finish line for COP28, my main message is clear:</p><p>We must conclude COP28 with an ambitious outcome that demonstrates decisive action and a credible plan to keep 1.5 alive and protect those on the frontlines of the climate crisis.</p><p>We can’t keep kicking the can down the road. We are out of road – and almost out of time.</p><p>Thank you.</p><p>Question:&nbsp;Justin Rowlatt from the BBC here. Mr. Guterres, if we don’t get a commitment to phase out fossil fuels in this deal, does that mean this COP conference has been a failure?</p><p>Answer:&nbsp;Well, the COP covers many aspects and it depends on the global balance. But a central aspect, in my opinion, of the success of the COP will be for the COP to reach a consensus on the need to phase out fossil fuels in line with a time framework, that is in line with the 1.5 degree limit. That doesn't mean that all countries must phase out fossil fuels at the same time. The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities applies. But it means that globally the phase out of fossil fuels needs to be compatible with net zero in 2050 and with the limit of 1.5 degrees in temperature rise.</p><p>Question:&nbsp;Sophie Mckoena from the SABC, South African Broadcasting Corporation. SG, the issue of the pact that you spoke about, it was difficult to get it during covid-19. Do you think this time around what you are calling for the developed countries will respond positively?</p><p>Answer:&nbsp;Let's be clear. One of the things that is essential is that all commitments made by developed countries need to be transparently implemented. But we will not solve the problems of equity in relation to climate only with climate finance. That is the reason why I’ve been advocating for reforms in the international financial architecture, for effective debt relief mechanisms and for, as I mentioned today, the increase of capital and the change in business models of international multilateral banks, in order to make sure that much more resources are available for developing countries, in order not only to meet their objectives in climate action – mitigation and adaptation – s but also to address the dramatic financial situation in which many of them are.<br>We cannot separate things. Of course, we cannot expect the COP to solve all the financial problems and developing countries in the world, but it's important that the COP gives a strong signal that those problems beyond the strict problems of climate finance, that those problems need to be addressed. Thank you very much.</p>