13.05.2022

May Ministerial: COP26 President Closing Remarks

Please let me start by offering my condolences to the UAE for the loss of your president. Our thoughts are with you.

Thank you Minister Shoukry, it’s been a real pleasure to co-chair this event with you.

I’m very pleased that we were able to bring colleagues together at this time.

We started out this discussion by saying we want to go beyond planned statements and existing positions and that’s exactly what’s happened.

There’s been a real, proper conversation. That’s what happens when parties come together, when friends come together, and have these discussions.

And when they’re frank in the discussions as well. I think that’s also incredibly important.

I know a few of you made a long journey. I know this is a crowded few months in the climate calendar, so thank you so much for having come to Denmark for this.

And thanks also to our friends in Denmark; particularly my dear friend Dan Jørgensen, who has pulled this thing off at really short notice.

I hope you’ll all agree that it’s been a brilliant meeting in terms of the organisation, and that has added to the flow of conversation.

So once again, may I ask you to put your hands together.

We started out this evening saying that this was about implementation; as Minister Shoukry has said, COP27 is going to be an implementation COP. We can start that process with six months to go. 

And what we’ve heard is that despite all the other issues that the world is facing, climate is still there on the agenda for governments around the world.

That is vitally important, as I keep emphasising in all the discussions that we have internationally.

We heard greater expectations about the need for countries to revisit and strengthen their NDCs.

We heard today from a number of parties about precisely what they’re working on, but we all need to do that.

And reflecting on this point that was made by our Turkish colleague earlier, about the G20: it is down to all of us, but it is also the case that there are some emitters which are raising the emission rate more than the very small nations who are at the frontline of climate change.

Therefore I think it’s incumbent not only on the G20; it is incumbent on all big emitters to play their part at the same time as we’ve asked the smaller nations to do so as well.

And I think that broadens this point out that the NDCs deadline is 23rd of September, so I hope that that will come forward and that people will get their NDCs in.

I was also really encouraged by a number of colleagues that talked about coming forward with their long term strategies as well. I think that’s great news.

On adaptation, we heard about the need for transformational adaptation action, we heard about the need for finance. 

I think we just need to maintain a little more momentum on this in the run up to COP27.

On loss and damage, we discussed that yesterday: as I said, we want to make some practical progress on this.

So we’ve got the work of the Santiago Network; if we agree the terms of reference at the intersessionals in June, that will make a big, big effort in trying to get this whole thing operationalised by COP27. 

I really think we owe it to ourselves and to our populations to do that.

And additionally, of course, we also need to make sure that the Glasgow Dialogue gets off to a good start, where we can have frank discussions as well.

On finance, I’m not going to repeat what I just said; just once again thank Jennifer Morgan and Steven Guilbeault for taking on this very important task on providing an update on that report, in that plan.

So the only thing I have left to say, friends, is that it’s six months to go.

Six months ago, for COP26, things were getting pretty frenetic and I think we need to keep up that level of energy.

There’s lots of things going on in the world but, on this issue, we need to keep up the energy and make sure that by the time we get to COP27, we can actually say that we have delivered.

And I just want to end with the piece about the young people outside: whatever people’s individual views, the reality is that that’s who we’re talking about. We’re talking about future generations as well.

And it’s been great that we’ve been able to have observers – I think there’s seven groups here – and we’ve got the High-Level Champions, it’s been great.