23 March 2017, New York – European Union Statement delivered by H.E. Ambassador Joanne Adamson, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to the United Nations, at the High-Level Meeting on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Agenda
Dear Mr President, Excellencies,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the EU and its Member States.
- The breakthrough Paris Agreement on Climate and the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development have been key achievements of multilateralism, but there is no room for complacency. As we face new geopolitical challenges, climate change is not yet in check to stay within 2°C let alone 1,5°C objective. As such climate change continues to act as a very serious risk multiplier – jeopardizing past and future progress in poverty reduction and sustainable development with direct and indirect security impacts.
- The EU and its Member States consider the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement in 2015 as essential and complementary steps on a pathway towards more sustainable and resilient future. Together these landmark Agreements have the potential to significantly accelerate the necessary economic and societal transformation that we as a global community depend on for preserving our common future and the future of our planet.
- We believe that addressing climate change provides countless opportunities to invent new and better ways to produce, consume, invest and trade, for the benefit of the people and of the planet. We now have to ensure that the synergies between the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Development Agenda are fully exploited and bring those commitments to life.
- For this to happen, countries at all stages of development need to take these aspects fully into account in their planning, budgeting and implementing processes. And we need to continually keep track of progress at all levels, hold ourselves to account, accelerate implementation, and foster broad ownership and partnership, transparency and inclusiveness.
- We are encouraged to see that the political momentum on climate action remains high: less than a year after the closing of COP21, progress on ratification has been extraordinary; the Paris Agreement entered into force on 4th November last year and 135 countries already ratified it.
- However to deliver the needed transformation and maintain the political momentum, it is of key importance that the targets that countries have put forward are now translated into actionable policies and measures that involve all sectors of economy.
- We are playing our full part in implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement – both in terms of domestic policy development and in our commitment to global solidarity. The decision to channel 40% of the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) towards climate relevant projects is a good example of how we are aligning our instruments to deliver the Paris commitments. Next to this, the European External Investment Plan, announced last autumn, is expected to trigger public and private investments of up to EUR 44 billion in African and in the EU Neighbourhood area.
- The EU considers that climate action in G20 countries – accounting for some 80% of global emissions – will be particularly important, while recognising the importance to continue to support and work together with developing countries in meeting their mitigation and adaptation needs. The EU has provided and will keep providing substantial climate funding to support climate action in partner countries and we are committed to make 20% of entire EU development cooperation policies and instruments ‘climate-relevant’ for the period 2014-2020.
- The EU will also continue to encourage and back initiatives in vulnerable countries that are most affected by the impacts of climate change as well as from lack of access to safe and sustainable energy.
- The EU is committed to ensure the completion of the legislative and regulatory package necessary to meet our Paris target of reducing economy wide emissions by at least 40% by 2030. We are preparing legislation that will deliver emission reductions in all sectors of the economy, put energy efficiency first and boost the uptake of renewable energy.
- Next year we’ll have another milestone ahead of us. The Facilitative Dialogue will be a key political moment and the first opportunity after Paris to look at our collective effort to limit global warming and what we have done concretely in terms of delivering on the commitments made in Paris. We look forward to the Paris Rule Book being finished in 2018. It will be the moment to demonstrate our ability to follow through on what our leaders said in Paris.
- The challenges addressed by the SDGs and the Paris agreement are of unprecedented breadth and scale. We need enhanced cooperation and coordination between governments, civil society, the private sector and other key actors. The initiatives not only by countries but also by regions, cities and business under the Global Climate Action Agenda have the potential to deliver transformative impact on the ground, enhancing ambition in the pre-2020 period and contribute to NDCs implementation.
- Despite new geopolitical challenges, countries remain committed to the Paris Agreement proving that the transition to a global climate resilient low-emissions economies and societies is irreversible. The EU will continue to support our international partners and remains determined to maintaining the global ownership of the Paris Agreement. Only together will we be able to live up to the level of ambition we have set ourselves – and to the expectations of future generations.
- Lastly, while we must ensure dedicated implementation of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs, we must also give increased attention to the link between climate change and security and address the disrupting and destabilising effects of climate change already taking place, including food insecurities and unreliable access to resources, water and energy. In this regard, the EU looks forward to the Security Council continuing its work on Climate Change and highlights the pertinent need for the UN system to provide adequate risk assessments and risk management strategies relating to climate change impacts.
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