Speech of Frans Timmermans at the informal COP26 Plenary

(Source: European Commission)

“Check against delivery”

Dear Alok, 

Let me start by saying how much I appreciate everything you and your team have done together with Patricia. Over the last couple of weeks and months, all of us have been heavily engaged in getting us here.

But having listened to the first couple of interventions, I wonder if we’re not at risk of stumbling in this marathon a couple of metres before reaching the finish line.

And I just want to do one thing now.

I have my list of points that I agreed with the ministers of the EU this morning that I would bring to the table and ask for your attention and ask them to be incorporated, or given due attention.

But I want all of us here, every single one of you to just for a minute think about one person in your life.

One person only that will still be around in 2030, and think of how that person will live if we do not stick to the 1.5 degrees here today.

Of course we all have our national interest. And of course there are many issues that need to be looked at later. I fully understand when developing nations say there should be more finances on the table and yes, we’re only at the beginning of what we need to do on loss and damage. Yes, we’re only in the beginning of adaptation finance and everything that needs to be done. Absolutely.

But for heaven’s sake, don’t kill this moment by asking for more texts, different texts, deleting this deleting that: everyone’s been heard by the Presidency over the last couple of months.

A lot of respect to every single country in this room was given by the Presidency over the last couple of months. And it is my firm belief that the text that is on the table now reflects perfectly well this respect shown by the Presidency, and at the same time, allows us to act with the urgency that is essential for our survival.

So I please implore you, please embrace this text so that we can bring hope to the hearts of our children and grandchildren.

They’re waiting for us.

They will not forgive us if we fail them today.

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