Tag Archives: Climate Change

‘End fossil fuel subsidies, and stop using taxpayers money to destroy the world’: Guterres

“We need to tax pollution, not people”, and “end subsidies for fossil fuels,” Secretary-General António Guterres told the World Summit of the R20 Coalition on Tuesday, a UN-supported environmental organization, founded by former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The idea that subsidizing fossil fuels is a way to improve people’s lives could not be more wrong, said the UN chief in the Austrian capital, Vienna, because it means spending taxpayers’ money to “boost hurricanes, to spread droughts, to melt glaciers, to bleach corals: to destroy the world.” More

Secretary-General’s Remarks During Joint Press Encounter with Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sosene Sopoaga Funafuti

17 May 2019

I want to express my very deep solidarity and admiration in relation to the people and the government of Tuvalu.

You are on the frontline of the war on climate change because climate change is striking in Tuvalu in a more dramatic way than anywhere else in the world.

I have enormous admiration for how you have decided to resist and you are implementing a programme of adaptation and resilience that is something that the whole world should admire and support. But it’s necessary that governments that are still causing the problems that affect Tuvalu understand that they need to change. They need to change their energy policies, their transportation policies, the way they manage their cities, the way they are using fossil fuels so that the impact of climate change on Tuvalu can be stopped. Climate change cannot be stopped in Tuvalu it has to be stopped in the rest of the world.

We will be fighting during our Summit in New York to make sure that all countries accept the commitment that we need to be globally carbon neutral by 2050 to limit the increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees.

At the same time, I want to express my deep solidarity and the total support from the United Nations to the government and to the people of Tuvalu in your determined efforts to preserve your country – physically, culturally, in the economic and social dimensions, as a rich component of the Pacific and the international community.

Thank you.

Press Conference United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Prime Minister of Fiji Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama

Suva, 16 May 2019

Thank you, your Excellency Honourable Prime Minister, for your words and especially thank you very much for the extremely warm hospitality I have been enjoying in your wonderful country.

This visit has two dimensions: the Fijian dimension and the Pacific dimension.

In the Fijian dimension it is a visit of gratitude in which I want to express how much we appreciate the extraordinary contribution of the Fijian people and the Fijian Government to all the important areas of action of the United Nations and all the important areas of international cooperation.

Fiji has been a strong and committed partner in peacekeeping. Fijian soldiers and Fijian police officers have shown enormous determination, enormous courage, and some of them, unfortunately, have lost their lives protecting the lives of vulnerable people – of women, of children – in some of the most dangerous places in the world.

There is a depth of gratitude that all of the international community in relation to Fiji that I want to express very clearly, being side by side with a former peacekeeper.

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Secretary-General’s Address to Fijian Parliament


Suva, 16 May 2019

Your Excellency, Honourable Speaker Mr. Nailatikau, Your Excellency, Honourable Prime Minister Bainimarama, Distinguished Ministers and Members of Parliament, I am delighted to be here today. It is a great honour to address the Parliament of the Republic of Fiji.

I was in parliament for 26 years of my life. Six and a half of them as Prime Minister.

Being in the Parliament of Fiji I feel twice at home. At home because I’m in Fiji and at home because I’m in the Parliament.

Bula Vinaka, good afternoon, and thank you for your warm welcome and hospitality.

Fiji is a country of extraordinary beauty, with a unique connection to the ocean and the sky.

Your strong traditions of community and social responsibility, and your symbiotic relationship with your surroundings, make you natural global leaders on climate and the environment.

From your chairmanship of COP23, the United Nations climate talks in Bonn, to your co-hosting of the UN’s first-ever conference on the Ocean, to the work of my Special Envoy, Peter Thomson, Fijians have been at the forefront of international action and advocacy on climate and the sea.

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UN Secretary-General Mission to the Pacific

Secretary-General’s remarks at the closing of High-Level Political Dialogue of the Pacific Island Forum, Suva,
15 May 2019

Thank you, Mr. President.

This has been a very illuminating meeting. I learned a lot. Allow me to extract four main conclusions from everything I heard today.

The first is that the Pacific Island States have the moral authority to tell the world that climate change needs to be reversed, because the Pacific Island States are leading by example. Even with all the difficulties – the lack of resources, the isolation, the distances, the lack of scale –the truth is that the Pacific Island States are not only building resilience and investing in adaptation to protect their citizens, their communities and their culture to protect their environment, but they are fixing for themselves very ambitious targets in relation to mitigation.

I heard today the very important commitment that the countries of the region are assuming to dramatically reduce emissions and be able to be fully in line with the target that we have all fixed to make sure that the temperature does not rise at the end of the century by more than 1.5 degrees.

I was surprised by the level of innovation you introduced, by the efforts made by the Pacific partnership in all its dimensions, by the commitments made by different countries in relation to their nationally determined contributions. This should be an example for the most developed countries in this world. I was surprised by the very advanced innovations announced using mobile technologies and mobilizing all capacities of the States in order to make sure that countries who are victims of climate change without contributing to it, that they do everything possible at their scale to reduce emissions and to show solidarity with the rest of the world.

This moral authority of the Pacific Island States needs to be clearly recognized.

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UN Chief Outlines ‘Intertwined Challenges’ of Climate Change, Ocean Health Facing Pacific Nations on the ‘frontline’

Visiting Fiji for the first time as Secretary-General, António Guterres outlined two “fundamental challenges” facing leaders attending the Pacific Islands Forum on Thursday, namely climate change and the world’s rising ocean, which threatens to submerge low-lying nations.

“The Pacific region is on the frontline of climate change”, he said. “That means you are also our important allies in the fight against it”

The UN chief said that he was there “to see the region’s climate pressures firsthand, and to learn about the work being undertaken by communities here in Fiji and elsewhere to bolster resilience”.

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Message of Solidarity with the People of New Zealand

 

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in New Zealand on Sunday (12 May) to begin his trip to the Pacific region. From 12 May to 18 May, Guterres is scheduled to visit New Zealand, Fiji, Tuvalu and Vanuatu to convey a very strong message from the Pacific to the rest of the world.

Speaking today to media in the New Zealand capital Auckland, alongside New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed his solidarity with the victims and families of the March Christchurch mosque attacks, which killed 51 people, and praised Ardern’s leadership in the aftermath of the killings.

Guterres told reporters the reason for the visit was to “pay tribute to their courage, to their resilience, but also to pay tribute to the extraordinary unity and to the message of solidarity that was given by the people and the government of New Zealand.”

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Secretary-General Arrives in New Zealand

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in Auckland, New Zealand, kicking off a weeklong trip to the Pacific region where he will be calling for action on climate change. After meeting with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the Secretary-General hailed the partnership between New Zealand and the United Nations.

United Nations Secretary-General Official Visit to the Pacific

Secretary-General’s remarks to Māori and Pasifika youth at event hosted by James Shaw, New Zealand Minister for Climate Change Auckland, 13 May 2019

Dear friends, it is an enormous pleasure to be here with some of the members of Generation Zero representing the very important leadership that youth around the world is providing to make sure that we are able to reach our central objective: not to have more than 1.5 degrees of increasing temperature at the end of the century.

The international community , and especially the scientific community, has been very clear that to reach this goal we absolutely need to have carbon neutrality by 2050. I’m extremely grateful to the leadership of New Zealand in this regard and extremely grateful to the leadership to the youth in New Zealand in this regard.

I’m confident that youth around the world will be able to convey to their governments a very clear message which is the message that I would like to convey here from the Pacific.

First, shift taxes from salaries to carbon. We must tax pollution not people.

Second stop subsidies to fossil fuels. Taxpayers’ money should not be used to boost hurricanes, to spread drought and heat waves, to bleach corals or to melt glaciers.

Finally, stop the construction of new coal plants by 2020. We want a green economy not a grey economy in the world.

It is very important that around the world young people, civil society and those that in the business community have understood that the green economy is the economy of the future and the grey economy has no future, it’s very important that you convince governments that they must act because there’s still a lot of resistance.

I went to Katowice not one, but three times, and I felt that resistance. Governments are still afraid to move forward. They feel the costs of climate action forgetting that the costs of inaction are much bigger than any costs of climate action. It’s very good to see – as we know, that nature does not negotiate – it’s very good to see youth in the frontline and I’m delighted to be with you here today and to learn from you, what you want us to do.

Thank you very much for your presence and it’s very important that your own government recognizes you’re a very important influence in what has been the exemplary New Zealand leadership in this regard.