Señor Presidente,

Excellencies, friends, all protocol observed,

It is a pleasure to join you today.

Let me begin by thanking the G77 plus China for your strong voice on climate action.

Your unity, advocacy and tenacity were essential in securing last year’s historic Loss and Damage agreement.

But the challenges keep growing.

Many of you face crushing debt burdens, fuelled by sky-high borrowing costs, that hamper efforts to reduce emissions and protect people from increasingly deadly storms, floods and droughts.

This creates a paradox.

For example, Africa is home to 60 per cent of the world’s best solar resources.

But Africa only received two per cent of global renewable energy investments in the last two decades.

African countries need both the financial and the technical support to unleash the renewables revolution.

And the same is true in several other regions.

The Global Stocktake must create the conditions for a surge of global climate ambition in 2025 and beyond.

That requires action in three areas.

First, finance.

Developed countries must clarify the delivery of the $100 billion commitment.

We need also to see a clear plan to double adaptation finance to $40 billion a year by 2025 as a first step to devoting at least half of all climate finance to adaptation.

And we need to see much greater support for the new Loss and Damage Fund. It started well but with not much money.

If you will permit me, I want to pay tribute to Professor Saleemul Huq of Bangladesh who passed away recently as he was a member of my Scientific Advisory Board and a luminary in the fight for climate justice and especially in support for loss and damage.


Climate finance still has a long way to go.

Up to eighteen times more finance is needed for adaptation to meet the current needs of developing countries.

And the International Energy Agency estimates that the transition to net zero in emerging markets and developing economies will cost more than $2 trillion annually by 2030.

The outdated international financial architecture must be reformed to reflect the realities of today and to respond to developing countries’ needs including in relation to the Bretton Woods system.

The international financial system must provide an effective debt-relief mechanism, that supports payment suspensions, longer lending terms, and lower rates.

The experience of Zambia demonstrates how fragile it was the mechanism put in place by the G20. We need an effective debt relief mechanism and we need it now.

All international financial institutions must align their policies, plans and programs with the Paris Agreement.

And we need to see an increase in the capital base of the Multilateral Development Banks; and reform of their business models so that they leverage far more private finance at reasonable cost to developing countries.

Grants and concessional finance are essential for leveraging private finance at scale.

Yet, just under thirty per cent of developed countries’ public climate finance is in the form of grants.

That proportion must rise significantly – and the COP28 outcome should say clearly so.

Second, emissions must be drastically reduced.

Current policies would take us towards a three degree rise in global temperature.

That spells disaster, particularly for developing countries.

The 1.5-degree limit is still possible but it is on the precipice.

The Global Stocktake must set a clear expectation that countries’ 2025 NDCs will align with the 1.5-degree limit.

And it must set a clear global science-based pathway to get there.

We need a just, fair and equitable transition from fossil fuels to renewables.

COP28 must commit countries to triple renewables capacity, double energy efficiency, and bring clean energy to all, by 2030.

And phase out fossil fuels with a roadmap that is equitable and with a timeframe compatible with 1.5 degrees is also essential.

The very existence of some countries in this room depends on it.

Finally, this COP must strengthen international cooperation on climate.

We need collaboration between governments, and between countries and companies:

To align all critical emitting sectors with 1.5 degrees;

To put a fair price on carbon;

To protect everyone on earth with an effective early warning system;

And to support the global transition to net zero by 2050.

I have proposed a Climate Solidarity Pact, in which big emitters make extra efforts to cut emissions.

And developed countries mobilize financial and technical resources to support emerging economies to do so.

My Acceleration Agenda supercharges those efforts in line with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.

That is why, I ask countries to hit fast forward on their net zero timelines so that they get there as soon as possible to 2040 in developed countries and 2050 in emerging economies.

To achieve net-zero, we also need to deploy clean energy technologies at pace and scale.

The extraction of critical minerals for the clean energy revolution — from wind farms to solar panels and battery manufacturing — must be done in a sustainable, fair and just way.

Demand for these minerals is set to increase almost fourfold by 2030.

At my Climate Ambition Summit, I heard repeated calls from G77 leaders for their countries and communities holding these minerals to fully benefit with maximum local added value.

We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past with a systematic exploitation of developing countries reduced to the production of basic raw materials.

Today I’m pleased to announce I am establishing the Panel on Critical Energy Transition Minerals.

The Panel will bring together governments, international organizations, industry and civil society to develop common and voluntary principles to guide extractive industries in the years ahead in the name of justice and sustainability.

Excellencies, friends,

The final fight to keep 1.5 degrees alive is on.

And we are battling for climate justice.

These are fights we can win.

This COP can win with a double objective: maximum ambition on mitigation and maximum ambition in relation to climate justice, namely taking into full account the interests of developing countries.

What we must avoid at all costs is a compromise based on minimum ambition on mitigation and minimum ambition on climate justice.

Because developing countries would be losing twice, would be losing because there is no climate justice and be losing because without effective mitigation the dramatic impacts of climate change will be [suffered] essentially by vulnerable populations in the global South

And so I count on the G77 plus China to keep pushing for the change our world needs. To make this COP a game changer with maximum ambition to reduce emissions and maximum ambition on climate justice to the benefit of developing countries and their populations.

Thank you.