Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed on Tuesday warned that extreme weather crisis will continue if actions are not taken to address the challenges of climate change.
Mohammed gave the warning at the opening ceremony of the the 23rd Session of the Conference of the Parties, Pre-COP23, to the UN Convention on Climate Change in Denarau, an island near Fiji’s third largest city of Nadi.
Extreme weather events show in graphic detail the risks we all face if ambition, action and commitment are not raised to meet the challenges of climate change.
She said that they highlight the urgency of building resilience, investing in adaptation and bending the emissions curve by 2020.
“For the UN, these events also underline the need to press forward, in line with the mandate from member states, on the UN secretary-general’s reforms to reposition the UN Development System to better support countries to achieve their commitments under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“These include the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, all landmark agreements reached in 2015, she said, adding that implementation of the three must go together.
She urged governments, businesses and citizens to work together and do their duties to fight climate change.
Mohammed described the Paris agreement as a remarkable achievement.
She said that to deliver on its full potential, and assist governments and society to go further, faster together, it needs a complete and uncluttered set of guidelines that ensure collective responsibility for the achievement of the long term objective of the agreement.
The deputy secretary-general said these guidelines should ensure that the agreement fosters transparency on action and support, how parties will take stock of the global situation and how mechanism to facilitate implementation and promote compliance will operate.
“We have the agreement. Now we need to raise ambition. 2020 should mark a turning point in the global economy, especially in key sectors.
“The secretary-general will continue to press member states to bend the emissions curve and scale up efforts to build resilience so that this turning point can indeed be reached.
“As we look towards Bonn and beyond, this Pre-COP is a crucial planning opportunity. Besides the guidelines, the COP should agree on a package of modalities to convene Facilitative Dialogue aimed at assessing and ramping up ambition.”
She noted that there should be no doubt that “we are entering a new chapter on climate change” and “Our task is to ensure that it is adequate to the challenge.”
A total of 300 delegates from over 60 countries and regions, international institutions, civil society organisations and business leaders are gathering here to attend the two-day conference, namely Pre-COP 23, which officially started on Tuesday.