Remarks of UN Secretary-General to P4G Seoul Summit
30 May 2021
I thank President Moon Jae-in and the government of the Republic of Korea for hosting this year’s P4G Summit.
The title of this initiative expresses exactly what the world needs now — global partnership.
Partnership to beat COVID 19 and build a better recovery.
Partnership to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
And partnership to address climate change.
We have taken some important steps lately.
Socio-economic response and recovery plans supported by the UN Development System worldwide have helped alleviate some of the worst impacts of the pandemic for the poorest and most marginalized.
And some 73 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions are now covered by commitments to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
But there is still much to do to close the emissions gap so we can achieve the SDGs.
That is why I am urging all main emitters to present new Nationally Determined Contributions, commit to net zero emissions by 2050 and — most importantly — to put in place policies and programmes that will get us there.
Tackling climate change head-on will help protect the most vulnerable people from the next crisis while sustaining a job-rich recovery from the pandemic.
The first priority is no new coal plants and a phase out of coal use by 2030 in OECD countries and 2040 in the rest of the world.
On this, I commend the Government of the Republic of Korea for announcing it will stop all international coal finance.
I encourage all remaining government and private sector entities to do the same.
As well as the emissions gap, I am deeply concerned about the finance and adaptation gaps.
Developed countries have yet to deliver on the 100 billion dollar per annum commitment.
Public finance is not flowing where it is now most needed — to support vulnerable communities that are already suffering the consequences of climate disruption.
One person in three is still not adequately covered by early warning systems.
And women and girls, who make up 80 per cent of those displaced by the climate emergency, are all too often excluded from decisions to address the climate crisis.
We urgently need a breakthrough on adaptation and resilience.
I am asking all donor countries to significantly enhance their financial commitments.
That includes allocating 50 per cent of climate finance to adaptation and providing a higher level of grants.
The G7 Summit, where the Republic of Korea is invited, needs to deliver on all these objectives.
It is not a global partnership if some are left struggling to survive.
This is true for COVID and the distribution of vaccines and it is true for the climate emergency.
This Summit’s focus is on an inclusive green recovery.
That means financing the infrastructure of tomorrow, now.
It means supporting developing countries in their transition to sustainable energy and a circular economy while helping them to diversify their economies and ensure a just transition.
And it means putting an equal emphasis on adaptation.
In short, we need a global partnership for green, inclusive, sustainable development.
In this quest, the Republic of Korea is leading partner.
I commend the government for its 2050 net zero pledge and the Korean Green New Deal.
And I encourage it to follow through with a coal phase-out plan, an enhanced NDC in line with its long-term goal, and increased international support for adaptation, renewable energy and SDG investments.
If all governments embrace the same goals, we will have an opportunity for a real partnership that will equip us to rise to the biggest challenge of our lives.
Let’s work together for a sustainable and equitable future for all people on a healthy planet.