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Palabras de S.M. el Rey en la recepción ofrecida a los Jefes de Estado, de Gobierno y de Delegaciones asistentes a la Conferencia de Naciones Unidas sobre el Cambio Climático (COP25)

Palacio Real de Madrid, 02.12.2019

Es un verdadero placer y un honor darles, junto a la Reina Letizia y aquí en el Palacio Real, la más cálida bienvenida a España; se la damos también con gran afecto a todas las personas que han acudido a esta importante Cumbre en Madrid, conocida como la COP-25 (la 25ª Conferencia de las Partes de la Convención Marco de NNUU sobre el Cambio Climático).

I would like to start by expressing Spain’s sincere recognition to Chile (Minister for the Environment, Carolina Shmidt), as the country that holds the presidency of this Climate Summit, officially beginning today, for the extraordinary job conducted in reaching this date. We thank you and the UN deeply for the trust and confidence you have placed on us.

On the Spanish side, we are all keenly aware of our responsibility in exceptionally hosting this event; in doing the best we can to provide you with an adequate space for constructive dialogue and participation to address together one of the greatest challenges facing humankind: the fight against climate change. We cannot, we must not, fail to provide the World with an effective, ambitious, multilateral response to the greatest environmental, social, and economic peril facing the human race ─and the planet itself.

I would especially like to acknowledge the extraordinary work that S.G. Guterres and his team from the UN (Climate Change Secreteriat) have performed to prepare this Conference. Also, allow me to thank all those ─coming from both national and local public services and institutions, as well as from the private sector and NGOs─ that are helping, supporting or sponsoring this enormous effort to make sure everything runs smooth and safe throughout its entire duration.
 
The motto of this Summit is “Time to Act”. We can rely on the best scientific knowledge, and the rulebook to implement the Paris Agreement, which must guide our efforts. We also know ─because we have rigorous, evidence-based data─ that the most vulnerable people are the hardest hit by the impact of global warming, compounding the risks and causes of social inequality, poverty, and hunger.
 
Furthermore, we are highly aware that global warming is sparking tensions over access to such basic resources as water, food, land, and energy; as well as over migratory displacement on a huge scale.
 
No borders can protect us from the effects of climate change. We cannot delay these decisions: We must act with leadership, and we must act with resolve. Yes, there is still time, but no time for hesitation; yes, there is hope, but also much work to do; and it will very possibly take several generations to accomplish.

For the Spanish Government, the answer is more solidarity, and joint decisions for shared solutions based on the crystal-clear, reliable and sound warnings of science. Solidarity with those who suffer the effects of climate change most severely, and with the future generations who have every right to demand a planet that holds a better future for Humanity. Solutions springing from greater ambition: both towards the climate and the science involved in all aspects, fighting causes and consequences; and towards a greater social impact, promoting a necessary transformation of the economy, of production models, of consumption patterns, and laying down an adequate and acceptable blueprint for cost redistribution.

Today, I would like to call upon every one of you who ─in one way or another, each within the scope of their responsibilities─ has the capacity to guide and facilitate change towards an eco-friendly model of development that is compatible with the limits of our planet. The fight against climate change represents a “golden” opportunity, and we must seize the day: ecology or environmental consciousness and economics are not incompatible, quite the contrary.

What we call “climate ambition” is the drive to achieve a cohesive society and a competitive economy that leaves no one behind. I am convinced that this Conference of the Parties will continue to promote those measures that are essential for us to make progress on the climate action agenda, through participation and through agreement.

Before concluding my remarks, I would like to thank Ecoembes, whose socially responsible orchestra of recycled instruments is with us at this reception, as well as the Fundación Biodiversidad for sharing with us a great selection of images shown here this evening, that capture only some of our beautiful natural treasures.

I wish you now a very fruitful Conference, so it may be successful in meeting its objectives and, therefore, in bringing hope to all of us living on this privileged, blessed and ─as far as we know─ unique blue planet we call Earth, our common home.

Thank you very much and enjoy the evening.

"...No borders can protect us from the effects of climate change. We cannot delay these decisions: We must act with leadership, and we must act with resolve. Yes, there is still time, but no time for hesitation; yes, there is hope, but also much work to do; and it will very possibly take several generations to accomplish..."

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