For nearly 80 years, the United Nations has brought the world together around the principles of peace, security, and human dignity on a healthy planet. Its founders urged the world to think beyond borders, beyond politics, and beyond our own lifetimes.
This/last week, I had the opportunity to address world leaders at the UN’s Climate Ambition Summit convened by the Secretary General, where I echoed those principles and delivered a simple, stark message, namely that the world is not on track to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 C.
UNGA is an important moment on the calendar, a milestone moment for multilateral cooperation and collective action. The COP28 Presidency focused on climate action, and while the desire and demand for action is evident, it was clear to see we have a lot of work to do to deliver a successful COP28 in December.
When we act with solidarity, we can overcome even the most daunting challenges. This is what gives me hope.
This week at UNGA, we achieved much and have much to build on as we look ahead to COP28. My takeaways from the week include:
- Our Agenda is Strong: The full COP28 Presidency and leadership team, along with our peers and collaborators, aggressively socialized our action agenda across the UNGA platforms and urged leaders from the public and private sector to align and act.
- We Must All Show Up: The size of the challenge requires everyone to show up. The stakes are too high to sit on the sidelines. Later this year we will host the most inclusive COP ever in the UAE, making sure every voice is heard, and everyone committed to action will have a seat at the table. All faiths, all communities, all peoples, working together- one planet, one ambition.
- Compromise is Key: There are many valuable and valid approaches to tackling climate change. But we must work together in good faith to align and advance our agenda, turning agreements into action. I see the momentum building but we must be ready to partner for progress.
- We Have the Tools, We Must Increase the Ambition: The most important tools required to tackle the climate crisis exist today. I saw many of them on display this week and am inspired by the ambition of so many. We must now increase our ambitions, unlock gridlock, stop the backsliding and stalling, and get to work to scale these sustainable solutions of today and tomorrow.
- Collaboration to Course Correct: Climate Change is our greatest shared challenge, and we can only address it by working together and all doing our part. Our capacity to collaborate, to overcome differences, and to harness the power of collective action is our greatest strength. As I said in my remarks at the UN, climate change does not recognize political divisions or national boundaries. It affects everyone, everywhere, and we are committed to making COP28 an inclusive and results-driven accessible to anyone that delivers for everyone.
COP28 represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tackle the climate crisis. We need to unite around the Climate Action plan I have outlined, action it and deliver the outcomes required of us. Let’s be brave. Let’s be bold. At COP28, let’s make history and save our future. Let’s act, unite and deliver.