COP27: The top quotes from climate and world leaders at the UN summit

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This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Kate Whiting, Senior Writer, Formative Content

  • COP27, the UN climate summit, is taking place in Egypt on 6-18 November.
  • Here are some of the top quotes from the world leaders and climate delegates taking part.

World leaders, policy-makers and delegates from nearly 200 countries are in Egypt at the COP27 UN climate summit, which runs in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh until 18 November.

Delegates kicked off the meeting on 6 November with a deal to discuss compensating poor nations for mounting damage linked to global warming.

This was followed by two days of speeches from heads of state. Here are some of the key quotes from leaders so far …

“There can be no effective climate policy without the peace … There are still many for whom climate change is just rhetoric or marketing … but not real action … They are the ones who start wars of aggression when the planet cannot afford a single gunshot because it needs global joint action.””— Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine

“Greenhouse gas emissions keep growing. Global temperatures keep rising. And our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible. We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator.””— António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

“The global fossil fuel crisis must be a game-changer. So let us not take the ‘highway to hell’ but let’s earn the clean ticket to heaven.” ”— Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

“In the face of impending catastrophe, whose warning signs are already unbearably disastrous, weak action is unwise. No action is dangerous.” ”— William Ruto, President of Kenya

“The dystopia has already come to our doorstep … The political advances we make here will have very little meaning on the ground unless there is a transfer of resources that shifts the needle on how people face the future.””— Sherry Rehman, Minister of Climate Change, Pakistan


How is the World Economic Forum fighting the climate crisis?

The World Economic Forum’s Centre for Nature and Climate accelerates action on climate change and environmental sustainability, food systems, the circular economy and value chains, and the future of international development.

  • Through the Global Plastic Action Partnership, the Forum is bringing together government, business and civil society to shape a more sustainable world by eradicating plastic pollution.
  • Global companies are collaborating through the Forum’s initiative to support 1 trillion trees by 2030, with over 30 companies having already committed to conserve, restore and grow more than 3.6 billion trees in over 60 countries.
  • Through a partnership with the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and over 50 global businesses, the Forum is encouraging companies to join the First Movers Coalition and invest in innovative green technologies to enable net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • The Forum is bringing global leaders together to reduce the environmental impact of value chains and make the $4.5 trillion circular economy opportunity a reality. The African Circular Economy Alliance is funding circular economy entrepreneurs and circular economy activities in Rwanda, Nigeria and South Africa, while the Circular Electronics in China project is helping companies reduce and recycle 50% of e-waste by 2025.
  • Since launching in 2020, the Forum’s open innovation platform UpLink has welcomed over 40,000 users who are working on more than 30 challenges crowdsourcing solutions to the climate crisis.
  • More than 1000 partners from the private sector, government and civil society are working together through the 2030 Water Resources Group to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030. The group has facilitated close to $1 billion of financing for water-related programmes.

Contact us for more information on how to get involved.

“When nations such as Pakistan undergo the kind of profound shock they’ve just gone through, when small island nations in the Caribbean every year worry about in 12 hours losing a third or more of their GDP … you have created an economically impossible scenario.” ”— Achim Steiner, Administrator of the UN Development Programme

“There is no money going to Sub-Saharan Africa. Full stop. I would like to challenge everybody: Do more.” ”— Axel van Trotsenburg, Managing Director of Operations, World Bank

“We must see the so-called ‘dash for gas’ for what it really is: a dash down a bridge to nowhere, leaving the countries of the world facing climate chaos and billions in stranded assets, especially here in Africa. We have to move beyond the era of fossil fuel colonialism.” ”— Al Gore, former US Vice-President

“We are, in fact, climate negative. But despite this, we are highly climate vulnerable … Promises made must be kept. Therefore, on behalf of all children and the next generation, we urgently call on historic emitters to do their part to safeguard out world. My country is doing our part with the limited resources and capacity.” ”— Chandrikapersad Santokhi, President of Suriname

“Climate security goes hand in hand with energy security. Putin’s abhorrent war in Ukraine and rising energy prices across the world are not a reason to go slow on climate change. They are a reason to act faster.” ”— Rishi Sunak, British Prime Minister

“No matter how much the external environment changes, and no matter how many challenges we face, China has firm determination to achieve this vision of carbon neutrality.” ”— Xie Zhenhua, Chinese Climate Envoy

“It is up to the G20 countries responsible for 80% of global emissions that we are beholden to for our survival. Our survival is being held to ransom at the cost of profit and an unwillingness to act despite the ability to do so.””— Mark Brown, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands

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