Speech by Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 27)

Speech by Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 27), Sharm El Sheikh, 7 November 2022

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

1.5 degrees.
That was our legitimate ambition in Paris.
But seven years on, we are lagging seriously behind.
The action we’ve taken so far has been way too little, way too late.
We are far beyond the point of new ambitions and promises.
We need to step up, and rapidly deliver on the promises we’ve made.

"We need to step up, and rapidly deliver on the promises we’ve made."

The Netherlands is taking its responsibility.
My country will reduce its carbon emissions by 55 to 60 per cent in this decade.
This will not be easy.
And we still have a great deal of work to do to make it happen.
But we must do it.
So, we are investing significantly in renewable energy sources, such as hydrogen and off-shore wind, both at home and abroad.

And at the same time, we are helping others.
Vulnerable countries are rightly concerned about loss and damage caused by other country’s emissions.
That’s certainly the reality for our African friends and partners.
To them I say: I hear your call for greater solidarity.
The African continent is on the frontline of a climate emergency it did not create.
An emergency that has fuelled food insecurity, this year made even worse by Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine.

For Africa’s  sake ‒ and for the whole world ‒ we need to do more to deal with the lasting effects of climate change.
Those effects can’t be undone, even with our best efforts.
To boost our resilience, we need to adapt now.

Of course, all this requires money.
So the Netherlands will increase its annual contribution to the 100-billion-dollar pledge on climate finance to 1.8 billion euros by 2025.
And – as part of this increase – we will double our public finance for climate adaptation.
Including 100 million euros for the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme.
All this money needs to go to those hit hardest by climate change.

"The Netherlands is taking its responsibility. And at the same time, we are helping others."

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of a low-lying delta country on the North Sea and several small island states in the Caribbean.
We know from long experience that water – whether too much, too little or too polluted – is the factor linking the great challenges of our time.
What’s more, 90 per cent of all climate disasters manifest themselves through water, via flooding, drought or pollution.

That’s why the UN 2023 Water Conference next March is so important.
This Conference – which we are co-hosting with Tajikistan – will be all about water action.
I urge you all to be there.

And I urge you to deliver on every climate-action promise you’ve made.
I urge you to amplify the voices of women and young people worldwide.
Because they are still underrepresented when it comes to decision-making on climate change.

We still have a long way to go.
But I promise you this: you can count on the Netherlands.
Just as we are counting on you.

Thank you.