20.11.2022

COP26 President Alok Sharma’s Remarks at the COP27 Closing Plenary

Thank you Mr. President to you and your team for all your work. And I also want to thank the secretariat and the Chairs of the subsidiary bodies.

It hasn’t been easy. But I want to begin by recognising the progress on loss and damage. This is historic.

The decision that we have taken here has the potential to support and increase that support for the most vulnerable.

And I very much welcome that.

And the scale and the range of needs will require contributions from the widest range of sources and parties.

Of course the critical work now lies ahead to ensure that potential is realised.

But friends, and I have to say this, this is not a moment of unqualified celebration.

Many of us came here to safeguard the outcomes that we secured in Glasgow, and to go further still.

In our attempts to do that, we have had a series of very challenging conversations over the past few days.

Indeed those of us who came to Egypt to keep 1.5 degrees alive,

and to respect what every single one of us agreed to in Glasgow,

have had to fight relentlessly to hold the line.

We have had to battle to build on one of the key achievements of Glasgow.

The call on all Parties to revisit and strengthen their Nationally Determined Contributions.

We have ultimately reiterated that call here.

And it is critical that commitment is delivered by all of us, including by the major emitters in this room who did not come forward this year.

But we also wanted to take a definitive steps forward.

We joined with many Parties to propose a number of measures that would have contributed to this.

Emissions peaking before 2025, as the science tells us is necessary.

Not in this text.

Clear follow-through on the phase down of coal.

Not in this text.

A clear commitment to phase out all fossil fuels.

Not in this text.

And the energy text, weakened, in the final minutes.

Friends, I said in Glasgow that the pulse of 1.5 degrees was weak.

Unfortunately, it remains on life support.

And all of us need to look ourselves in the mirror, and consider if we have fully risen to that challenge over the past two weeks.

Colleagues, I will not be in this chair at COP28, when our ambition, and our implementation, is tested in the Global Stocktake year.

But I assure you, indeed I promise you, that if we do not step up soon,

and rise above these minute-to-midnight battles to hold the line,

we will all be found wanting.

Each of us will have to explain that, to our citizens, to the world’s most vulnerable countries and communities,

and ultimately to the children and grandchildren to whom many of us now go home.

Thank you.