Declaration (September 2019)
- Climate change is the key challenge of our time. Our generation is the first to experience the rapid increase in temperatures around the globe and probably the last with the opportunity to effectively combat an impending global climate crisis.
- The effects of climate change are well documented and are felt everywhere around the globe: The dramatic increase in heat waves, floods, droughts and mudflows, glacial melting and sea-level rise. Water shortages and crop failures are only some of the immediate results, with devastating impacts such as hunger and forced human displacement.
- Over the past century, the global average temperature has already risen by about 1 degree Celsius over pre-industrial levels. This increase is unprecedented in the history of mankind.
- The climate crisis is a concern to all of us. Climate change impedes the global economy. It threatens various sectors including agriculture, forestry, tourism, energy, infrastructure and water supplies and, inevitably, it is a serious threat to peace and stability around the globe.
- In December 2015, the world witnessed an important moment of hope and confidence: At COP 21, the global community adopted a landmark Paris Agreement with the goal of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its report on the impact of global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius unequivocally confirms that we are already seeing the negative impacts of climate change; it also clearly demonstrates the vulnerabilities, impacts and risks of further global warming to human societies and natural systems, including the attainment of sustainable development and of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Current measures taken by the international community, as expressed in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement, are not sufficient to reach the long-term goals set out in the Paris Agreement. More has to be done — and action needs to be quick, decisive and joint.
- After a successful adoption of the Katowice Rulebook at COP 24, and after a successful completion of the Talanoa Dialogue, now is the time for strengthening action and ambition.
- We, the Heads of State and Governments and further signees of this Declaration, are convinced that effective measures to combat climate change are not only necessary in their own right, but will bring about additional co-benefits and new opportunities for our economies and societies. We are confident that substantial measures will help us lead our planet into a safe, peaceful and prosperous future.
- Based on the scientific and technical expertise as well as the financial means the world has today, we collectively have the obligation towards future generations to do everything humanly possible to stop climate change as well as to adapt to its adverse effects, respecting the need of a just transition of our societies.
- We appeal to the international community and to all Parties to the Paris Agreement: Let us act jointly, decisively, and swiftly to stop the global climate crisis.
- In light of the findings of the IPCC Special Report and the results of COP 24 we urge all Parties to make 2019 the year of climate ambition by coming to the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in September 2019 with concrete plans and initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly beyond current targets for 2030, as far as these targets are not in accordance with the objectives of the Paris agreement, and to net zero by 2050, starting with enhanced nationally determined contributions next year.
- We emphasize the importance to ensure that all financial flows are consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development, and ask all financial institutions to align their investments with the long term goals of the Paris Agreement, to intensify and scale up investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy as well as to disinvest as soon as possible from the fossil-fuel economy.
- Let us take the manifold opportunities and measures to combat climate change forward and shape a positive future for our planet. Let us bequeath a world worth living in to our children and to future generations.
Alexander Van der Bellen
Federal President of the Republic of Austria
Želko Komšić / Šefik Džaferović / Milorad Dodik
Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina
President of Republic of Cyprus
King Mswati III
Kingdom of Eswatini
President of the Republic of Finland
President of the French Republic
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
President of the Republic of Ghana
President of the Republic of The Gambia
Federal President of the Republic of Germany
President of the Hellenic Republic
President of the Republic of Hungary
Guðni Th. Jóhanneson
President of the Republic of Iceland
Michael D. Higgins
President of Irland
President of the State of Israel
President of the Italian Republic
President of the Republic of Korea
President of the Republic of Latvia
President of the Lebanese Republic
President of Moldova
Prince Alberto II
Principality of Monaco
President of Montenegro
Filipe Jacinto Nyusi
President of the Republic of Mozambique
Nanda Bahadur Pun
Vice President of Nepal
Tommy E. Remengesau
President of the Republic of Palau
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
President of the Portuguese Republic
President of the Republic of Serbia
President of the Slovak Republic
President of the Republic of Slovenia
Prime Minister of Denmark
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón
Prime Minister of Spain
Prime Minister of Sweden