In his speech delivered at this year’s High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF 2016) on Tuesday (July 19), the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, highlighted climate change as a critical challenge of our time and called for “immediate action”. The HLPF 2016, which took place from 11th to 20th July at the UN headquarters in New York, was the first UN’s central platform for the follow up of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in September 2015.
In his address to the audience, the Secretary-General explained that “the actions needed to reduce emissions and build climate resilience … are the very same that are needed to lay the foundation for prosperity and security for all and set the world on a sustainable footing for generations to come”.
Recognizing the Paris Agreement as a crucial step on the path to sustainable development, the UN chief therefore invited world leaders to a special event on 21 September which “will help efforts to secure early entry into force of the agreement”. His plea to ratify the deal before the next climate conference in Marrakesh is primarily addressed to the major greenhouse gas emitters, such as the United States and China, in order to reach the entry-into-force threshold of 55 percent of the GHG emissions. He reminded the participants that, out of 178 countries which signed the Paris Agreement in April this year, only 19 have ratified it so far, together accounting for less than 1 percent of GHG emissions.
— United Nations (@UN) 20 luglio 2016
With his speech, the UN chief also launched the first report on the Sustainable Development Goals set by the new global development agenda, which will serve as a benchmark for the 15-year implementation period. As outlined in the 2030 Agenda, it is necessary to take urgent action to combat climate change, such as strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity, adopting measures at the national level and providing climate finance for the developing countries. According to the SDGs report, the main instruments for achiving this are Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDCs) under the Paris Agreement, which “sets the stage for ambitious climate action by all for sustainable development”.
(Image:Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Photo Credit: UN Photo/Amanda Voisard)