COP26 President remarks at closing plenary

5 minute read

Alok Sharma’s remarks at the COP26 Closing Plenary.

Dear Friends,

After two years of incredibly hard work we have our Glasgow Climate Pact.

This is down to each and every one of you and your teams.

Your hard work, your dedication, your willingness to build consensus.

I thank you all, and your teams, for your extraordinary and heroic efforts. 

I also want to thank my own incredible team for the past two years, and all the work that has gone into making this conference happen.

I also thank our Observers, civil society and young people, for keeping up the pressure,

for constantly reminding us,

that communities around the world expected us to deliver here in Glasgow. 

And I thank those most climate vulnerable Parties who never let us forget what is at stake. 

Parties whose people are already suffering the worst effects of climate change and whose moral authority has powered this process forward. 

Together, over these two weeks, Parties have demonstrated what the world had come to doubt, 

that countries can rise above their differences to unite against a common challenge, 

that this multilateral process can deliver. 

I know that some Parties have sacrificed wording they held dear for the sake of a balanced outcome. 

I thank them for doing so. 

Just as I thank Parties that have held their nerve under pressure so we can deliver a strong final text. 

I think we can all be proud of what, collectively, we have delivered. 

The decisions we have adopted are part of a broader package, which includes what we have achieved together outside these negotiating halls, 

on nationally determined contributions, adaptation plans, and finance pledges. 

Not to mention our coalitions on coals and forests and cars  and the work of the High Level Champions. 

Taken together this Package charts a course for the world to deliver on the promises made in Paris. 

This Glasgow Climate Pact drives action on adaptation. 

It emphasises the need to act, 

it sets a clear way forward on the Global Goal on Adaptation, 

and it urges developed countries to at least double their collective climate finance for adaptation by 2025.

It operationalises the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage, finally giving that issue the focus and attention it deserves. 

It commits to urgently scale up finance, which is the foundation for faster action and confidence we can go further.

And it sets out actions to empower and engage all of society in driving forward this transition. 

Collectively, we have acknowledged that a gulf remains between short term targets, and what is needed to meet the Paris temperature goal. 

And so our Pact brings Parties back to the table next year to improve their commitments, to drive up ambition across this vital decade. 

And it emphasises the urgent need to accelerate our efforts to turn targets into action to keep 1.5 within reach. 

That work must start now. 

We have also, for the first time, adopted text to scale up clean power and phase down dirty coal.  

And after no less than six years of discussions, we have concluded on those final parts of the Paris Agreement Rulebook, on Article 6, on Common Timeframes, and on transparency.

These put in place the rules and systems to keep us accountable and support increased ambition. 

Their resolution will unleash the full force of what was agreed in Paris.

This is real progress in keeping 1.5 degrees within reach. 

Progress we have made together. 

But the need for continual action and implementation, to match ambition, must continue throughout the decade. 

Today, we can say with credibility that we have kept 1.5 degrees within reach. 

But, its pulse is weak. 

And it will only survive if we keep our promises. If we translate commitments into rapid action. 

If we deliver on the expectations set out in this  Glasgow Climate Pact to increase ambition to 2030 and beyond. 

And if we close the vast gap that remains, as we must. 

Because as Prime Minister Mia Mottley told us at the start of this conference, for Barbados and other small island states, “two degrees is a death sentence”.

Friends, it is up to all of us to sustain our lodestar of keeping 1.5 degrees within reach.  

To continue our efforts to get finance flowing and boost adaptation. 

After the collective dedication which has delivered the Glasgow Climate Pact,

our work here cannot be wasted. 

The drive towards 1.5, for a cleaner, healthier, more prosperous and more resilient world must continue. 

And we must continue that together.

At the start of this summit the world was asking,

Do the parties assembled here in Glasgow have the courage to rise to the scale of the challenge?

My friends, you have responded.

We have responded.

History has been made here in Glasgow.

We must now ensure that the next chapter charts the success of the commitments we have solemnly made together in the Glasgow Climate Pact.

Thank you.