Paris Agreement

UNFCCC 30th Anniversary - Tough Decisions Are Needed by All

See message from UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC):

Today we mark our remarkable journey together.

We remember the big moments: the adoption of the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement, the Glasgow Climate Pact, and more.

But we also remember other moments — moments that do not make the headlines yet are central to our work.

The quiet conversation with someone who lost a loved one due to a climate disaster.

Helping someone dedicated to moving a negotiation ahead, inch by inch, paragraph by paragraph, to achieve consensus on a given issue.

Or maybe it's one of the countless innovations, technologies or opportunities we’ve heard and seen from people throughout the world.  

We know none of these things exist in isolation — they are part of an ongoing process — part of our ongoing climate journey together.

But we’ve still got so far to go.  

Because despite all of our work, our memories and our successes, science makes one thing clear: nations are not currently on track to achieve their collective goals on climate change.

Instead, they are on pace to more than double the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C by the end of this century.

As an organization based on science, this is the biggest fact we face.

That’s why the most difficult and challenging part of our journey is not behind us, but ahead.  

Yet, because of our work, the world is in a better place than it was 30 years ago. We have the Paris Agreement, the rules for its implementation, and we are focused on supporting everyone to take more climate action.

The key word is everyone — not just countries.

We know collective success is only possible when the voices of individual people — people representing all genders, all generations, all sectors and all political stripes — are included in our efforts to address climate change.

We are in this together. And UN Climate Change is fully dedicated to supporting all people through its policy of inclusive multilateralism.

It’s also why today is about more than marking a date on a calendar: it’s a chance for us to talk about what must come next.

Why the 2020s must be a decade of climate action.

Why leaders must finally shake the comfortable bonds of incrementalism and ensure our collective climate action is both exponential and meaningful — fitting the global climate emergency we face.

Tough decisions by all leaders, all sectors and all people are needed now.

I believe that together we are up to the challenge.

I am extremely grateful for the incredible work undertaken by my predecessors. Thank you for your leadership.

To people everywhere: I encourage you to redouble your efforts in this new decade and this new phase.

We may not ultimately know the future of humanity on this planet, but we know it is our job to be responsible stewards of it while we are here.

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