Speaking at the global leaders' climate summit convened by the United States, Guterres said the world is "on the brink of collapse" because of the effects of climate change and that the right step includes "a global coalition for zero emissions until the middle of the century that involve "each country, each region, each city, each company and each industry".

The current decade needs to be "a decade of transformation" for all countries, starting with "the largest emitters", requiring nationally determined "new and more ambitious" contributions to global warming and "aligned" policies.

"The billions that we need to recover from covid-19 are money that we are borrowing from future generations and cannot be tied to policies that bind them to a mountain of debt", he defended.

Guterres reiterated the need for measures such as the application of taxes on emissions instead of income, the end of benefits for the exploitation of fossil fuels and the need, before the conference of the signatory parties to the Paris Agreement to limit global warming, scheduled for the end of this year in Glasgow, "concrete proposals arise to guarantee access to finance and technology for the most vulnerable countries".

Like US President Joe Biden, Guterres also stressed that the transition to clean energy represents an imminent economic opportunity.