New York Climate Week: “We need to recognize the urgency we face”- Patricia Espinosa

New York Climate Week: “We need to recognize the urgency we face”- Patricia Espinosa

At the opening ceremony of New York Climate Week on monday 24th, the Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, Patricia Espinosa, called for more urgency in taking climate action and stressed the need for leadership and a committed multilateral response.

Her address

Patricia Espinosa Credit Photo: UNFCCC

 

Seventhy-three years ago, nations—ravaged by war, weary of its costs—pledged to achieve what had, for the first half of the century, been impossible: a lasting peace. The signing of the UN Charter in San Francisco was more than an agreement to get along. It established a rules-based international order, championed multilateralism over self-interest, and clarified that the path forward was not through conflict but collaboration.We bear the fruit of that work. Today, many are healthier, better educated, and more peaceful than at any point in history.ut humanity faces a new challenge; one that threatens current and future generations.

The Paris Agreement

Climate change is an opponent we shaped with our own hands, but whose power now threatens to overwhelm us. Throughout the world, extreme heatwaves, wildfires, storms and floods are leaving a trail of devastation and death.Developing countries suffer the worst, but climate change affects all nations—directly and indirectly. It’s a challenge that a rules-based international order is custom-designed to address—which led to the Paris Agreement.

Like the UN Charter itself, its signing was an unprecedented multilateral success. But nations are not living up to what they promised. Under it, nations agreed to limit climate change to 2-degrees Celsius—ideally 1.5C. These targets are the bare minimum to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. But what nations have currently pledged under Paris will bring the global temperature up about 3C by 2100. Let us be clear: low ambition leads to a future where humanity no longer controls its own fate—runaway climate change does. Recent negotiations in Bangkok on the Paris Agreement’s implementation guidelines made some progress, but not enough.

Recognizing the urgency

We must therefore work harder than ever between now and COP24 to complete this work. We need to see leadership, we need to recognize the urgency we face, and we need to make a commitment to a decisive multilateral response. We have no other option. This means that we must listen to the voices of billions who understand that time itself is a dwindling resource when it comes to climate change. We must listen also to those who understand that addressing climate change provides extraordinary opportunity and are acting. Just as 73 years ago the UN Charter was signed in San Francisco and then moved to New York City……we’ve also just arrived from San Francisco and the Global Climate Action Summit. It was a clear statement from businesses and investors around the world that they have seen the future, and it’s green.

United

I have with me a call to action from the Summit. It outlines how states, regions, cities, businesses, investors and communities are stepping up action to put us on track for a climate-safe world. Let this be a call to nations to not only step up their climate ambition, but chart a clear path to the future, and empower bottom-up climate action. Let that work continue here in New York, and let multilateralism remain our way forward.

I’m reminded of something by a great supporter of multilateralism, the late Kofi Annan. In remarks commemorating the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks, he said: “I stand before you today as a multilateralist — by precedent, by principle, by Charter and by duty”.The best way to honour Mr. Annan is to honour his words.Let us build upon them, by embracing what I call inclusive multilateralism, one that recognizes the need for more voices at the table, not fewer.

Ladies and gentlemen, I recognize none of this is easy—nothing this transformative or important ever is. But it’s worth it.It’s worth it because by addressing climate change, we can build a better, more resilient future, both for this generation and all generations to follow…a future that is both cleaner and greener, but one where poverty is reduced, rights are shared more equally by all, and that all people can live, love, learn and prosper.

Thank you.

 

Author: ERA ENVIRONNEMENT

ERA ENVIRONNEMENT is a media based in SAMBA M'BODONI, a village in the North of Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean . It was first an association "de loi 1901" in 2016 based in France and dissoluted in 2017. On April 2018, ERA ENVIRONNEMENT was established as an company in Comoros Islands with the commercial register 8671-B-18. The activities in Comoros Islands started in January 2019. Localized in one of the six Small Islands States of Africa, ERA ENVIRONNEMENT is the unique media in Comoros with a vocational training on sustainable development and climate change with two teams of young and senior journalists. All rights reserved. ERA ENVIRONNEMENT est un média basé à Samba M’Bodoni, un village situé dans le nord de la Grande Comore, dans l’Océan Indien. Basée anciennement à Paris en 2016, en France, cette association a été dissoute en 2017 .En Avril 2018, ERA ENVIRONNEMENT est devenue une entreprise de presse comorienne avec comme registre de commerce N° 8671-B-18 . Localisée dans l’un des six Petits Etats Insulaires en développement d’Afrique, ERA ENVIRONNEMENT a commencé ses activités en Janvier 2019. Cette entreprise de presse est l’unique média intégrant une formation au développement durable et aux changements climatiques, avec une équipe de jeunes et de seniors journalistes. Tous droits réservés.

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