20.09.2022

COP26 President Alok Sharma calls for urgent climate action ahead of COP27 at UN General Assembly and Climate Week NYC

  • Mr Sharma will represent the UK government together with Prime Minister Liz Truss, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, Minister for the UN Lord Ahmad and Minister of State Lord Zac Goldsmith
  • The COP President will participate in a range of UN and Climate Week NYC events, where he will urge climate leaders from governments, businesses and civil society organisations to accelerate more ambitious climate action
  • Mr Sharma will also co-chair the second Climate and Development Ministerial alongside the Rwandan Minister of Environment on 20 September

COP26 President Alok Sharma will travel as part of the UK delegation attending the 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA). He will also participate in Climate Week NYC events, held alongside UNGA, engaging with businesses, financial institutions and civil society to support greater progress on the Glasgow Climate Pact ahead of COP27.

While in New York, Mr Sharma will emphasise the critical importance of sustained action to limit global temperature increase to below 1.5 degrees, particularly from major emitters. Mr Sharma will make clear that G20 nations must demonstrate leadership by delivering on the commitments collectively made in the Glasgow Climate Pact.

As part of UNGA, the COP President will attend the UN Secretary-General hosted leader-level Climate Roundtable and also welcome the UN Secretary-General’s Early Warning for All initiative at a side event, where attendees will take stock of progress on addressing gaps in early warning systems for climate impacts and the need to scale up early action efforts.

The Governments of the United Kingdom and Rwanda will co-host the second Climate and Development Ministerial meeting on Tuesday 20 September from the Microsoft UN Affairs Office. Building on the successes of the first Ministerial meeting in 2021, the COP26 President and Rwandan Minister of Environment will bring countries together to discuss the priorities of climate vulnerable countries, and chart a path to make tangible progress on them.

COP President Alok Sharma said:

Since last November when we met at COP26, the world has faced multiple global crises, precipitated by Vladimir Putin’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, which need immediate attention.

However at the same time the chronic threat of climate change has worsened with the devastating floods in Pakistan, which have left a third of the country underwater, one terrible example of our changing climate.

Therefore at this critical juncture less than two months before COP27, and just days ahead of the UNFCCC Synthesis Report deadline, it is more important than ever that all countries deliver on the commitments we made, collectively, in the Glasgow Climate Pact.

The COP26 President will use sessions at Climate Week NYC to call for maximum ambition and accelerated progress from non-state actors. He will particularly focus on mobilising private finance institutions – through the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) network – to eliminate commodity-driven deforestation from investment and lending portfolios, advancing progress of the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use agreed at COP26.

Speaking at the Hub Live opening on 20 September, Climate Week NYC’s flagship event, the COP26 President will underscore the need for further, faster transitions in key sectors including energy and transport initiatives. He will address the link between energy security and climate security, highlighting that the commitments made at COP26 to urgently scale-up the deployment of clean power and phase down fossil fuel usage are more relevant than ever in the present global context.

Mr Sharma will also underline the need for ambitious action across the transport sector by announcing the intention to launch the Accelerating to Zero Coalition. The coalition will build on the Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Declaration launched at COP26, which aims to reach 100 percent zero emission cars and vans by 2035 in leading markets, and 2040 globally.

The COP President will chair a roundtable to promote the Breakthrough Agenda Report, an independent progress assessment of the Breakthrough Agenda launched at COP26. He will encourage countries to implement an action plan the UK – as current secretariat of the Breakthrough Agenda – has developed based on the assessment, focusing on clean technologies and sustainable solutions in high emissions sectors to deliver the net zero transition.

Following his attendance at UNGA and Climate Week NYC, the COP26 President will continue to work closely with Egypt’s incoming COP Presidency and other global partners to deliver on the Glasgow Climate Pact and secure an impactful COP27 outcome.

Background

During UNGA and Climate Week NYC, the COP26 President will be speaking at the following events:

Tuesday 20 September

  • Climate and Development Ministerial, co-hosted by the UK and Rwanda governments
  • ZEVs: Are we there yet? Steering the global market towards EV100
  • Hitachi organised event: Accelerating the Transition to Clean Energy and a Green Industrial Revolution
  • Breakthrough Report Launch Roundtable

Wednesday 21 September

  • UNGA Side Event: UN Global Early Warning Initiative to Implement Climate Adaptation
  • Energy: The New Climate Reality – Energy Certainty in an Uncertain World
  • UN Secretary General’s Informal Leaders’ Roundtable on Climate Action

Notes to editors

The Glasgow Climate Pact was agreed at COP26. Nearly 200 countries agreed to keep 1.5C alive and finalise the outstanding elements of the Paris Agreement. The Glasgow Climate Pact, combined with increased ambition and action from countries, means that 1.5C remains in sight, but it will only be delivered with concerted and immediate global efforts.

The Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) brings together existing and new net-zero finance initiatives into a single, sector-wide coalition and provides a forum for leading financial institutions to accelerate the transition to a net-zero global economy.

The Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use was signed by 142 countries at COP26, and now has 145 signatories. This commitment is to work collectively to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation.

The ZEV Declaration is accelerating the transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans. It is working towards all sales of new cars and vans being zero emission globally by 2040, and by no later than 2035 in leading markets.

At the COP26 World Leaders Summit, over 40 countries accounting for over 70% of global GDP endorsed the Breakthrough Agenda, committing to work together to make clean and sustainable solutions the most affordable, accessible and attractive option in each of the emitting sectors before the end of this decade.