Work Starts Tomorrow, But For Today, Congratulations

Mesdames, Messieurs:

All my congratulations.

The Paris Agreement on climate change is a monumental triumph for people and planet.

I know I speak for everyone in this room in applauding COP21 President Laurent Fabius and UNFCCC Executive-Secretary Christiana Figueres for their outstanding stewardship of these negotiations.

In the face of an unprecedented challenge, you have demonstrated unprecedented leadership.

Climate change is the defining challenge of our time.

That is why I have made it one of the defining priorities of my tenure as Secretary-General.

Over the past nine years, I have spoken repeatedly with nearly every world leader.

I have visited the climate front lines, from the Arctic to Antarctica and to the Amazon, from the Sahel to the Aral Sea.

I have been to Pacific Islands that are sinking under the waves.

Most of all, I have listened to people — the young, the poor and the vulnerable, including indigenous peoples, from every corner of the globe.

They have demanded that world leaders act to safeguard their well-being and that of generations to come.

Here in Paris, we have heeded their voices — as was our duty.


We have solid results on all key points.

The agreement demonstrates solidarity.

It is ambitious, flexible, credible and durable.

All countries have agreed to hold global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

And recognizing the risk of grave consequences, you have further agreed to pursue efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5 degrees.

This is especially important for the nations of Africa, Small Island Developing States and Least Developed countries.

You have listened to the voices of the most vulnerable and recognized the importance of minimizing and addressing loss and damage.

One hundred and eighty-seven Parties have submitted their national plans, the INDCs.

I urge the remaining —> Read More