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2021-07 23
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Patricia Espinosa: “There is no path to 1.5°C without the G20”

Date:2021-07

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Credit: G20 Italy UN Climate Change News 23 July 2021 – Speaking to the Environment and Energy Ministers of G20 nations in Naples, Italy, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa called on countries to provide the necessary leadership to achieve the central goal of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which is to hold the global average temperature rise to as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This is in order to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, which include ever more frequent and severe droughts, floods and fires of the type the world is witnessing right now. The UN’s top climate change official recalled that the G20 was founded in response to the 2008 financial crisis, with the goal of achieving global economic stability and sustainable growth. “The G20 accounts for 80 per cent of all global emissions. There is no path to 1.5C without the G20,” she said. “Climate change is — without exception — detrimental to that goal. It is therefore in the best interests of all G20 nations to harness its collective diversity to build consensus and work in a unity of purpose to address the most significant challenge standing in the path of that goal,” she added. Only 97 countries have submitted updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), which are national climate action plans under the Paris Agreement – less than half of all signatory countries of the Paris Agreement. Patricia Espinosa called on G20 nations to show leadership by presenting more ambitious NDCs in line with science. And she reminded developed countries of their pledge to mobilize $100 billion annually to developing nations by 2020, a commitment made in the UNFCCC process more than a decade ago. “It’s time to deliver. How can we expect nations to make more ambitious climate commitments for tomorrow if today’s have not yet been met?”, she said. Ms. Espinosa highlighted the fact that resources for adaptation and resilience building are critical for the vast majority of developing countries. Because of this, 50 per cent of the total share of climate finance needs to be allocated to adaptation and resilience. And she called on nations and businesses to align their portfolios and activities to the goals of the Paris Agreement. Regarding the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in November, the UN Climate Change Chief urged governments to achieve consensus in areas where differences remain, including Article 6 of the Paris Agreement (relating to carbon markets), transparency of climate action and capacity building for developing countries.  “Each of these issues must be resolved in order to fully implement the Paris Agreement. We’ve been working on implementing the agreement for five years.  We have run out of time. (…) I ask you to come to COP26 determined to succeed,” she said. See the full speech of Patricia Espinosa here: Ministers; It’s a pleasure to be here and thank you to the Italian Presidency for this opportunity to speak. It’s the first time I’ve spoken in front of a live audience since the beginning of COVID-19 more than a year ago. I begin by recognizing those who continue to suffer through these difficult times, especially those who have lost friends and family. I also recognize those who have lost their lives in the recent series of weather disasters throughout the world — events that underscore the irrefutable evidence of our climate change emergency. This is the point of my remarks when I usually provide several statistics and numbers reflecting the dire climate situation we collectively face. But what more can numbers show us that we cannot already see? What more can statistics say about the flooding, the wildfires, the droughts and hurricanes and other deadly events? Numbers and statistics are invaluable, but what the world requires now, more than anything else, is climate action. People throughout the world demand it. We see it in traditional and social media, in schools, in communities, in demonstrations and more. What they want is bold and courageous leadership that gets us off our current path of destruction and instead puts us on the climate-resilient path that the Paris Agreement promised. The Paris Agreement provides the framework for limiting global temperatures to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Five years ago, nations agreed to its adoption. But adoption is not implementation. Without this crucial step, unleashing the full potential of the Paris Agreement is simply impossible.  Ministers, G20 nations have a responsibility, as well as the opportunity to provide the bold and courageous climate change leadership the world needs.  The responsibility is clear: the G20 accounts for 80 per cent of all global emissions. There is no path to 1.5C without the G20. You are a unique group, representing a wide diversity of nations — all at different stages of development and with different circumstances and political realities. Far from a division point, this diversity is the G20’s greatest strength. The very reason for the G20’s foundation was a recognition that solutions to global issues were not one-size-fits-all. The same applies today. The climate emergency requires the same approach and determination as G20 nations showed during the 2008 financial crisis. If the founding and fundamental purpose of the G20 is to achieve global economic stability and sustainable growth, climate change is — without exception — detrimental to that goal. It is therefore in the best interests of all G20 nations to harness its collective diversity to build consensus and work in a unity of purpose to address the most significant challenge standing in the path of that goal. But like so many issues, building consensus means showing the willingness to move beyond politics and entrenched positions. Frankly, we’re not there yet. But this must change, and soon — certainly by COP26. Yet we cannot simply show up in Glasgow and hope for the best. Consensus-building and climate action must happen as soon as possible. Ministers,   G20 nations can show bold and courageous leadership right now by presenting, in line with science, ambitious national climate action plans. Plans that: …outline commitments for the next five years… …show how you will reduce emissions 45 per cent by 2030… …show how you will achieve net-zero emissions by 2050… …and Long-Term Strategies that define the path to that goal. We currently have 97 NDC submissions, but this is less than half of all Parties to the Paris Agreement. This is not what people throughout the world will want to hear when we talk about climate ambition. Receiving these plans is crucial. We also encourage nations who have already submitted to revisit and submit more ambitious NDCs. Finance is another area where previous commitments must be met to achieve success moving forward. It’s linked to virtually every element of our global climate change efforts. The pledge by developed nations to mobilize $100 billion to developing nations by 2020 is a commitment made in the UNFCCC process more than a decade ago. It’s time to deliver. How can we expect nations to make more ambitious climate commitments for tomorrow if today’s have not yet been met? Resources for adaptation and resilience building are critical for the vast majority of developing countries. This can no longer — especially in light of recent climate disasters — be the forgotten component of climate action. Specifically, we need to see 50 per cent of the total share of climate finance to be allocated to adaptation and resilience. On a wider scale, nations and businesses, must align their portfolios and activities to the goals of the Paris Agreement. This is the only way we can truly achieve the deep transformation we need to achieve a more sustainable, resilient future. We must all get away from the idea that there are climate or “green” investments and then other investments. Nations and businesses cannot fund a few climate projects and then claim to be sustainable and climate friendly if all other investment is based in high-emissions sectors. It’s impossible to move forward if we’re still chained to the past. G20 nations have mobilized vast resources to help their economies navigate through the pandemic. We need to see the same level of commitment to address climate change and to fuel the transition towards a more sustainable and climate-resilient future.   Ministers, In addition to:   submitting more ambitious national climate action plans and long-term strategies;   mobilizing the $100 billion;   making adaptation a central part of the finance picture; and   aligning global investments with the Paris Agreement… …we also must make COP26 a success this coming November. And that means achieving consensus in areas where several differences remain. They remain in areas ranging from Article Six, to transparency, capacity building and more. Each of these issues must be resolved in order to fully implement the Paris Agreement. We’ve been working on implementing the agreement for five years. We have run out of time. That’s why, ministers, my message today cannot be any clearer: we need your political decisions. We need your knowledge. We need your solutions. We need your bold and courageous leadership. And we need all of this urgently. I want to underline that while the impacts of climate change continue to grow worse, the 1.5C goal of the Paris Agreement is still within reach.  But we cannot reach it without the G20. I ask you to come to COP26 determined to succeed, Never has there been a year like this one. Yet never has one generation of leaders had an opportunity to change so much in so little time.  I ask you to rise to the challenge and the opportunity of our times… …to get us off the path of loss and destruction and onto the path of recovery, resilience and hope. Thank you. Source:UN Author:UN Date:July 23, 2021

2021-07 16
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Innovative Technologies for Sustainable Energy Explored at Asia-Pacific Climate Week

Date:2021-07

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Credit: Kervin Edward Lara / Pixabay UN Climate Change News, 16 July 2021 – Innovative and emerging sustainable energy technologies to achieve net-zero carbon emissions were explored at three events during the Asia-Pacific Climate Week (APCW2021) which took place from 6-9 July. Technology is a crucial element of countries’ national climate actions plans, known as NDCs, under the Paris Agreement. With Asia and the Pacific accounting for more than half of global energy consumption, the focus was on seizing transformation opportunities in sustainable energy, including green hydrogen, as well as harnessing the potential of oceans. In his opening remarks at the first of the three technology-related events during APCW, Stephen Minas, Chair of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC), noted that despite the relatively high energy consumption in the region, 10% of the population still lacks access to basic electricity: “The question is how to bridge into an affordable, reliable and sustainable power supply while improving energy access,” he said. Unlocking green hydrogen's potential in Asia and the Pacific One of the key technologies for the transition to clean energy is green hydrogen, produced using renewable energy sources. A session held on 8 July examined potential drivers for the effective deployment of green hydrogen in the region. The event was organized by the TEC, together with High-level Climate Champions, Gonzalo Muñoz of Chile and Nigel Topping of the United Kingdom. Opening the session, TEC Chair Stephen Minas stated that hydrogen has long been considered as an energy of the future and asked how the technological, economic and policy development of the present can be used to bring the future of green hydrogen forward. Gonzalo Muñoz said: “We are in a race to deliver a healthy, resilient and zero-carbon world. In this race towards a net-zero and resilient future, green hydrogen is becoming increasingly recognized as a viable solution. It is both technically and economically ready to be scaled up." Frank Wouters, Chairman, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Hydrogen Alliance, stated that while many countries' existing hydrogen strategies are rich in ambition, they are poor in policy detail, stressing the urgent need for joint public and private sector collaboration. Alli Devlin from the Youth Non-Governmental Organisation (YOUNGO) pointed out that the Olympic torch carried at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games will be powered by hydrogen, adding: “This is a great way to overcome the social barrier to success and nurture a well-informed society that embraces the energy shift.” Harnessing ocean potential and securing sustainable energy access in Asia and the Pacific A further session held during APCW, organized by the TEC and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), looked at harnessing the potential of oceans. TEC vice-chair Mareer Mohamed Husny opened the session, citing the importance of offshore renewables in reaching emissions targets: “Offshore renewables have huge potential with multiple co-benefits, particularly in Small Island Developing States, yet remain unexploited. This opens up the opportunity to promote innovation, research and development,” he said. Purnima Jalihal, Head, Energy and Fresh Water, NIOT, India, noted that the marine infrastructure of most countries in the Asia and the Pacific region is not highly developed and demonstration projects are still small scale. This makes it difficult to predict possible environmental impacts and whether the project can deliver the desired amount of energy. Mary Ann Quirapas Franco, Research Fellow, National University of Singapore, highlighted the challenge of making offshore renewables economically competitive: ”The need is for a local supply chain that can be established to bring down the cost of importing the necessary technology and skill sets needed to deploy the ocean energy technology,” she said. The outcomes of the three events will contribute to the development of the TEC technical paper on emerging decarbonization technologies in the energy supply sector. Source:UN Author:UN Date:July 16, 2021

2021-07 09
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Asia-Pacific Climate Week 2021 Sends Strong Signal to COP26

Date:2021-07

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Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi, Japan Credit: Tommy Silver / Unsplash UN Climate Change News, 9 July 2021 – The Asia-Pacific Climate Week 2021 Virtual Thematic Sessions wrapped up today, sending a strong signal that regional momentum for climate action can contribute to success at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in November in Glasgow. The Asia-Pacific regions emits more than half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and is one of the most rapidly developing regions of the world, with a significant proportion of the global population. And it is home to most of the world’s low-lying cities and vulnerable small island states. At the end of the sessions, Ms. Keiko Segawa, Deputy Director General, with Japan’s Environment Ministry said: “The Asia-Pacific region should play a leading role for the world’s decarbonization and enhancing its resilience as a key driver of the world’s economic growth in the coming decades… Japan has committed to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, lead the global efforts toward carbon neutrality, and is accelerating concrete climate actions in the Asia-Pacific region.” Speaking at the closing press briefing of the sessions, UN Climate Change Deputy Executive Secretary Ovais Sarmad said: “With COP26 in less than five months, we are at a crucial moment. Many nations are now in the process of developing new or updated Nationally Determined Contributions – the national climate action plans under the Paris Agreement. This year will determine if we can get on track to meet the goals laid out in Paris. APCW 2021 is held in a time of optimism and momentum, and collaboration here builds towards success at COP 26.” Over three days, core organizing partners led discussions on themes that are crucial to address the world’s climate emergency: The World Bank examined economy-wide approaches for a sustainable, green recovery. UNDP explored how both climate risk and climate solutions are reshaping different sectors. UNEP reimagined the future and looked at behaviours, technologies and financing that take us there. On the final day of APCW 2021, the UK COP26 Presidency hosted a series of events in preparation for COP 26 in Glasgow in November. Ken O'Flaherty, COP26 Regional Ambassador to Asia-Pacific and South Asia, said: “'Climate Action in the Asia-Pacific region is key to limiting global warming to 1.5C. Countries across the region are already being impacted by climate change and will need to adapt and build resilience for the future. APCW provided an important opportunity for stakeholders to address the opportunities and remaining challenges to tackle climate change across a wide range of areas”. The host Government of Japan convened governments at all levels, private sector leaders, academic experts and regional stakeholders. Around 3,700 people from 158 countries registered for the meeting, and more than 2,800+ participants attended a total of 139 virtual sessions. The APCW 2021 High-Level Event will ensure that outcomes from the Virtual Thematic Sessions are captured and framed within the larger context of COP26. Next steps to COP26 include the upcoming Africa Climate Week now scheduled for September and a High-Level Event anticipated in October. Further quotes: Victoria KwaKwa, Vice President, East Asia and Pacific, World Bank, said: "During the Asia-Pacific Climate Week, we repeatedly heard that a shift to low-carbon economies must prioritize energy, land transitions, and integrate sustainability, social inclusion, and poverty reduction. At the World Bank, we are committed to helping countries prepare and implement actions to tackle climate change and achieve green, resilient and inclusive development.”  Dechen Tsering, Director, Asia and the Pacific Office, United Nations Environment Programme, said: “The need for stronger partnerships for overcoming the three plenary crises was highlighted during the Asia-Pacific Climate Week. We are the last generation that can stop climate collapse, mass biodiversity loss, and the pollution challenge. UNEP is committed to help countries in the region put climate ambition into action to deliver concrete results at COP26 and achieve our shared commitment to the Paris Agreement goals.” Mr. Christophe Bahuet, Deputy Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific and Director, Bangkok Regional Hub, United Nations Development Programme, said: "Asia-Pacific Climate Week has shown us once again that inclusivity is central to effective and sustainable climate policy. At UNDP, we will continue to work with countries across the region to ensure that NDC implementation and enhancement includes the voices of all stakeholders, particularly those that are most marginalised and vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and create the space for all to be part of these much-needed climate solutions." Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of UN ESCAP, said: “Building the momentum of economic and social recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries in the Asia-Pacific region have this unique opportunity to move forward together in developing and implementing ambitious low-carbon national actions and economy-wide approaches, and redirecting financial flows to decarbonizing consumption and production, and enhancing nature-based solutions and rural and urban resilience. ESCAP is ready to support Asia-Pacific lead the race to net-zero 2050.” Selwin Hart, Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on Climate Action, said: “This week has shown that there is much determination in the Asia-Pacific region to take ambitious climate action.  But support to developing countries in the region is paramount so that they can accelerate the decarbonization of their economies and protect people and livelihoods from increasing and more frequent and catastrophic climate impacts. The US$100 billion commitment made by developed countries over a decade ago must be met. We have no time to lose. No effort should be spared to keep the 1.5 degree goal of the Paris Agreement within reach so as to prevent even more dangerous and deadly climate impacts in the Asia-Pacific region. Source:UN Author:UN Date:July 9, 2021

2021-07 06
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Investors with USD 6 Trillion Call for a Global Price on Carbon

Date:2021-07

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Credit: Jeffrey Blum / Unsplash UN Climate Change News, 6 July 2021 – Ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in November in Glasgow, investors managing more than USD 6 trillion in assets have called for a coordinated global price on carbon to reach the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global average temperature rise to as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The call comes from the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, convened by the UN, whose 43 members include some of the world's biggest pension schemes and insurers. Alliance members are committed to shaping their portfolios to rapidly reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and limit global warming to 1.5ºC in a just way that maintains a level international playing field. "Non-regressive and revenue-neutral carbon-pricing instruments – harmonized across borders – will not only unleash massive investment in renewable power systems globally, but boost sectors from construction to transport, which are in urgent need of transition," said Günther Thallinger, Member of the Board of Management Allianz SE and Chair of the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance.  The paper proposes principles that will see all countries and regions set clear, legally binding net-zero targets, supported by regulated carbon-pricing measures and interim emissions reduction milestones. Carbon pricing instruments such as emissions trading schemes or taxes currently in use globally cover just 21% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to a May report by the World Bank. Charles Emond, President and CEO of Canadian pension scheme Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) said: "A carbon price corridor that provides a clear economic signal as well as more pre-visibility will provide the global environment necessary for companies to make sound investments decisions.´ The group proposes a hybrid model between emissions trading schemes and taxes or levies, with an emphasis on creating a minimum price on carbon that would increase over time. The idea is to give certainty to investors and provide a buffer against price crashes, as well as a maximum price to protect against price spikes. It would also provide stable and reliable incentives for stakeholders to adopt or develop low or zero-emission technology. Innovative technology is key to raising climate ambition and can help implement countries’ national climate action plans – Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – under the Paris Agreement. The Alliance is strongly encouraging governments to accelerate Research & Development funding into zero-carbon and carbon-removal technologies, in addition to policies that drive the development and deployment of these solutions at industry scale. Today’s call for a global price on carbon follows the release ahead of last month’s G7 summit of the 2021 Global Investor Statement to Governments on the Climate Crisis. The statement delivers the strongest-ever investor call for governments to raise their climate ambition and implement meaningful policies, or risk missing out on a massive wave of investment in tackling the climate crisis. According to the OECD, a price of USD 147 a tonne is needed by 2030 if the world hopes to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, almost treble the current price in the EU's Emissions Trading System of around USD 59 a tonne. Source:UN Author:UN Date:July 6, 2021

2021-06 25
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Political Leadership Is Needed for Success at COP26 – Ovais Sarmad

Date:2021-06

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Credit: Reading Tom / flickr UN Climate Change News, 25 June 2021 –  The progress made at the May-June UN Climate Change Conference leaves the international community “well positioned to achieve success” at the crucial UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow in November, according to UN Climate Change Deputy Executive Secretary, Ovais Sarmad. But political will and leadership is required to reach consensus on key sticking points, and nations must make use of key political opportunities before COP26 so that the conference can be a pivotal moment in the fight against climate change. “I feel there is a new enthusiasm and a new momentum around international climate action that we haven’t experienced since the adoption of the Paris Agreement. There is a renewed appetite for progress,” Mr. Sarmad said, adressing the Chatham House virtual conference 'Climate Change 2021'. Mr. Sarmad highlighted the signs of optimism and transformation in the private sector, best reflected in the global Race to Zero campaign, which works to mobilise governments, businesses and civil society to achieve full carbon neutrality as quickly as possible and at the latest by 2050, with more than 4,500 companies, cities, regions, financial, educational and healthcare institutions having joined since its inception a year ago. 4 Key elements for Success at COP26 The Deputy UN Climate Change Chief outlined four key elements for success at COP26. These are: Wrapping up outstanding negotiations; Raising ambition to reduce emissions, adapt to climate impacts and to provide finance to close existing gaps between global expectations and political commitments; Re-engaging with civil society and non-Party stakeholders in a unity of purpose; Delivering on the pledge by developed countries to mobilize USD 100 billion annually to support developing nations. According to Mr. Sarmad, the biggest sticking point in the UN climate change negotiations is Article 6 of the Paris Agreement related to carbon markets. However, a successful COP26 implies more than getting one or two big decisions. “It will mean that nations must achieve a balanced package of decisions reflecting expectations, concerns and needs of all stakeholders in multiple areas,” he said. Tough Decisions needed to reach 1.5 C degrees Paris goal Mr. Sarmad said that whilst countries are still far from achieving the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 C degrees above pre-industrial levels, there is potential for advancement towards this goal. “We can talk about overcoming differences and we can talk about urgency, but it’s simply talk unless leaders make the tough decisions necessary to bridge existing gaps and reach consensus;” he said. “With respect to current obstacles, we know the contentious issues. We also know the options on the table. What we need are political decisions to be made. There are opportunities for these decisions and this leadership in the next few months leading up to COP26,” he added. Key opportunities include the UN General Assembly in September, the pre-COP series of discussions that will take place in Milan from 30 September to 2 October, and the G20 Summit that will be held in Rome in October. “It’s crucial that the message coming from the G20 countries, responsible for 80% of global emissions, is one of specific commitments and rising global climate ambition,” Mr. Sarmad said. Finally, Ovais Sarmad stressed that the work of the UN Climate Change secretariat extends well beyond COP26, given that the role of the secretariat is to keep the focus of the international community on the longer-term goals of the Paris Agreement. This work covers long-term climate action strategies and the Global Stock Take, with the first such stocktaking exercise happening from 2021 to 2023 and feeding into the process of updated national climate action plans for 2025. READ THE FULL SPEECH HERE: It’s a pleasure to speak with such a distinguished group… …and to have this opportunity to talk about where we stand following the recently concluded three weeks of climate discussions, how they fit into this pivotal year, and how this ultimately impacts success at COP26 and beyond. The recent June climate change sessions were described as “informal” discussions — but little in the last year feels “informal”. COVID-19 has devastated families, cities and economies, and has significantly altered the trajectory of national plans. The reverberations will likely last decades. For years, experts have theorized about what a truly modern global crisis would look like. Now that we’re living through one, nobody wants to see another. Yet the science clearly indicates that climate change could potentially have a far greater negative impact on humanity than COVID-19. So, I assure you that all discussions regarding climate change at the international level in 2021 — whether with Ministers, Parties, non-Party observers, civil society or others — are always against a backdrop of the most profound urgency. I recognize that addressing climate change has always been urgent. I also recognize progress has not always reflected it. Nations still haven’t implemented the Paris Agreement, they’re still far from its 1.5C goal, and levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continue to rise. Momentum is building And yet, I feel there is a new enthusiasm and a new momentum around international climate action that we haven’t experienced since the adoption of the Paris Agreement. There is a renewed appetite for progress. A number of virtual Climate Dialogues were held over the past months: The UNFCCC June 2020 Momentum for Climate Change. The UNFCCC November 2020 Climate Dialogues. In December, the Climate Ambition Summit 2020, hosted by United Nations, United Kingdom and France. In January 2021, the Climate Adaptation Summit hosted by the Netherlands. In April 2021 the new US administration Leaders’ Summit on Climate Change, and the US rejoining the Paris Agreement. And the UNFCCC SB sessions in June that just recently concluded. Reaching consensus on key issues however, remained elusive. The biggest sticking point continues to be Article 6 of the Paris Agreement related to carbon markets. It was encouraging that the G7 committed to keeping the projected global temperature rise to 1.5C — as the goal established in the Paris Agreement — and the commitment to phase out coal at home and stop financing coal overseas. It was also encouraging that the G7 reaffirmed the collective goal of developed countries to jointly mobilize $100 billion annually from public and private sources, through to 2025. Race to Zero Governments, of course, cannot address climate change on their own. All sectors of society have a key role to play. While an incredible amount of work remains, we’ve also seen signs of optimism and transformation in the private sector. This is perhaps best reflected in Race to Zero campaign, which works to mobilize governments, businesses and civil society to achieve carbon neutrality as quickly as possible. In just one year since its launch, more than 4,500 companies, cities, regions, financial, educational and healthcare institutions that have joined. The campaign now includes 40 per cent of FTSE100 companies, almost 1000 cities and more than 600 educational institutions committed to credible climate action. Renewable energy is another area for optimism and its growth — maintained even through COVID — has exceeded expectations. And electric cars are no longer a novelty project for carmakers, but central to their long-term success and plans. Soon, we’ll look at gasoline-powered cars as we would a Model-T: novel but a relic of the past. That’s what momentum looks like. Compared to just one year ago, it’s clear we are well positioned to achieve success at COP26 later this year in Glasgow. Let’s now turn to what success will look like. SUCCESS AT COP26 COP success means four things. First, it means promises made must be promises kept. That means pledges Parties made before 2020 must be honored and completed. This is especially true of the pledge by developed nations to mobilize $100 billion annually to developing nations by 2020. It’s a matter of trust and integrity. Second, wrap up outstanding negotiations. It’s time to wrap up outstanding negotiations and implement the Paris Agreement. Its adoption was an incredible multilateral success for the world, but adoption is not the same thing as full implementation. We’ve now been more than five years negotiating. The clock has run out. Unleashing its full potential through full implementation will not only address climate change but help the world build forward from COVID-19. This means resolving Article 6, which I have already touched upon. Third, Raise Ambition in Mitigation, Adaptation and Finance The best time to raise climate ambition was yesterday. The next best time is today. It’s time to close the existing gaps between global expectations and political commitments. And when we’re talking about raising ambition, we’re not just talking about mitigation, but also increasing ambition in adaptation, resilience and finance. As I’ve mentioned, we are seeing incredible momentum both privately and publicly — we must keep it going at COP26. Fourth: Leave no voice or solution behind. We must re-engage with civil society and Non-Party Stakeholders in a unity of purpose. Our brand of inclusive multilateralism is the only way forward. In fact, it is our creed. Everyone has a role to play and everyone must be involved, especially women and youth, whose voices have been ignored for too long. This fourth area for success is one we’ve already been working on. At the recent Subsidiary Body meetings, for example, more than 90 per cent of the meetings were open to the public. We had more online participants than ever before. Those are our keys to success. It’s important to know, however, that a successful COP 26 implies more than getting one or two “big” decisions — it will mean that nations must achieve a balanced package of decisions reflecting expectations, concerns and needs of all stakeholders in multiple areas. Obstacles and Opportunities What can hold us back from achieving success? While multiple factors can influence multilateral discussions of any type, it almost always comes down to trust and leadership. This is how, for example, the Paris Agreement was signed. In the year leading up to its adoption, we saw a groundswell of momentum and support. As I said at the outset, we can talk about overcoming differences and we can talk about urgency, but it’s simply talk unless leaders make the tough decisions necessary to bridge existing gaps and reach consensus. With respect to current obstacles, we know the contentious issues. We also know the options on the table. What we need are political decisions to be made. There are opportunities for these decisions and this leadership in the next few months leading up to COP26. The UN General Assembly in September, as well as the Pre-COP series of discussions that will take place in Milan from September 30 to October 2, will be additional opportunities for mobilizing political decisions. The G20 Summit will be held in Rome in  October — virtually back-to-back with COP26. It’s crucial that the message coming from the G20 countries, responsible for 80 per cent of global emissions, is one of specific commitments and rising global climate ambition. The bottom line is that we must — all of us, in all our capacities — encourage nations to press ahead on these issues, resolve differences, and make the decisions that will fulfil the beforementioned four areas of success for COP26. And let us not forget that our work extends beyond the COP. In fact, the COP should be considered as fitting into an ongoing trajectory of increased ambition and progress that the international community needs to make. Source:UN Author:UN Date:June 25, 2021