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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave the following address at the close of COP21 Action Day in Paris:
“I thank President Hollande for convening this gathering, and for France’s engagement as one of the co-leaders of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda, along with Peru, the United Nations and the UNFCCC.
I have been looking forward to Action Day because it is about the solutions we so urgently need. Today is about action by all sectors of society. It is about innovation and imagination; collaboration and partnership. It is about our collective future, and it is about hope.
Today, as never before, the stars are aligned in favour of strong, concerted action on climate change. The pace of climate action is quickening.
Governments, cities, the private sector, investors, and the public at large increasingly understand the grave risks posed by climate change.
They also see the tangible benefits to be gained by early action. These include economic growth, new markets, job creation, cleaner air and improved health.
Cities are reducing emissions and bolstering their resilience. Companies are investing in new, green technologies and scaling up use of renewable energy. Investors are scrutinizing fossil fuel investments, and insurers are beginning to integrate climate risk into their decision-making.
Last, and certainly not least, civil society is mobilizing as never before. Citizens, youth, indigenous peoples and faith leaders around the world are demanding action.
National governments are here in Paris seeking to adopt a new, universal climate change agreement. A meaningful agreement will set the international policy framework needed to scale up climate action by all sectors of society.
The Lima-Paris Action Agenda reflects many important initiatives occurring throughout the world. It showcases feasible and affordable climate solutions that demonstrate that the transition to a low-emissions, climate-resilient economy is under way.
I am pleased to see countries from the Global South developing new partnerships, and I encourage more South-South cooperation on climate change.
Strong climate action provides a powerful catalyst for global sustainable development. It is necessary for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Without climate action there can be no sustainable development.
The Lima-Paris Action Agenda is an integral part of the outcomes here in Paris. It will complement the new agreement and will continue to highlight the critical role of non-state actors transforming our societies.
Last year, I hosted a Climate Summit in New York. It gave birth to new multi-stakeholder partnerships and initiatives on forests, renewable energy, sustainable transport, resilience, finance and other areas critical for addressing climate change.
All finance commitments made by the private sector at the UN Climate Summit are on track to being realized. Moreover, billions of additional dollars have been invested since the Summit to support low-carbon and climate-resilient investments in all parts of the world.
The Lima-Paris Action Agenda builds on this progress. Together, these initiatives are making an impact. They demonstrate that we can reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency, build more sustainable cities, protect our forests and create a better future for all.
The benefits of technology and innovation can accelerate progress on sustainable development. I have appointed an Advisory Group of ten eminent individuals from civil society, the private sector and the scientific community to support the recently established Global Technology Facilitation Mechanism and its important work.
This week I also launched my resilience initiative.
I am committed to working with various partners on a range of multiple opportunities to scale up climate action. This will include a “Climate Action 2016” summit of leaders from government, business, cities, civil society and academia on May 5–6 next year in Washington, D.C.
This high-level gathering will complement ongoing efforts and catalyze concrete deliverables in specific high-value areas, such as cities, land use, resilience, energy, transport, tools for decision makers, and finance.
These are the areas that will help make a difference as we work to implement the outcome of the climate conference here in Paris.
We need to rapidly expand and accelerate climate action at every level – from the local to the global. We must go further and we must go faster in line with what science requires to limit temperature rise to less than 2 degrees.
The United Nations system will continue to support climate action in partnership with all stakeholders.
I thank you for your leadership, vision and commitment to building a more prosperous, resilient and secure future for all.”
Source: UN Climate Change News Room
“Combatting climate change, promoting sustainable development and addressing the vulnerabilities of SIDS will demand partnership, capacity and leadership,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who recalled that the SAMOA Pathway is here “to guide us.”
Last year’s Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States in Samoa increased global attention on their contributions to sustainable development – but also on their unique vulnerabilities, Mr. Ban reminded to the Council members, who were meeting for an unprecedented debate about the situation of these countries.
From traditional armed conflict to transnational crime and piracy, illicit exploitation of natural resources, climate change and climate-related natural disasters and uneven development, small island developing States face a range of peace and security challenges, according to the concept note provided by New Zealand, which holds the rotating Presidency of the Security Council for the month of July.
Caribbean SIDS, for example, are vulnerable to drug-trafficking and gang-related violence, noted the Secretary-General, while unreported and unregulated fishing undermine local economies. Through its Maritime Crime Programme, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime is actively engaged to help these countries in these areas.
“Taken together with the broader vulnerabilities faced by many of these States communities, these challenges can disproportionately affect national stability, fuel conflict across regions and ultimately have an impact on the maintenance of international peace and security,” adds the Security Council concept note.
For the Secretary-General, the first priority must be to support these States in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
“Second, we need a post-2015 development agenda and sustainable development goals that address the needs of SIDS,” he continued.
At the recent Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, which took place from July 13 to 16, it was encouraging that the concerns of [that group of countries] were reflected, including in critical areas such as debt, trade, technology and Official Development Assistance, Mr. Ban noted.
“Third, we need a meaningful and universal global climate agreement in Paris in December,” stressed the UN chief, as small island developing States are on the front lines of climate change.
“Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu is only the latest in a long string of devastation that SIDS have endured and will continue to endure as long as climate change is not adequately addressed,” he warned, underscoring that Caribbean countries sometimes experience as many as five hurricanes in a season.
Rising sea levels, dying coral reefs and the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters exacerbate the conditions leading to community displacement and migration, threatening to increase tensions over resources and affect domestic and regional stability, the Secretary-General went on to say.
“Leading by example,” many of these countries have been accelerating their own transition to renewable energy to secure a sustainable energy future. But, to support SIDS in their actions to combat climate change and adapt to its impacts, “a politically credible trajectory for mobilizing the pledged $100 billion dollars per year by 2020” is needed, he explained.
The Green Climate Fund will need to be up and running before the Climate Conference in Paris in December, but a “meaningful, universal climate agreement” must be adopted, concluded the Secretary-General.
Credit: UN News Centre
Today is World Water Day! It is being observed under the theme International Year of Water Cooperation. In designating 2013 as the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, the United Nations General Assembly recognizes that cooperation is essential to strike a balance between competing needs and priorities and share this precious resource equitably, as well as using water as an instrument of peace.
In his official address to celebrate World Water Day, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says “water holds the key to sustainable development, we must work together to protect and carefully manage this fragile, finite resource.” Watch his full address below…
According to The Water We Eat, a report produced by the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN), the average person consumes more than 3,400 liters of virtual water each day—this is the water hidden in the products we buy and the food we eat and it can vary significantly. So “what we eat, how we produce food, and how much food we waste can all impact the size of our water footprint. ” How are you managing your water footprint?
World Water Day is observed annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Learn more about our work to improve water resources across the Caribbean here.
Here are seven free World Water Day tools courtesy of Food Tank, a Think Tank focused on issues related to food.
1. On Pinterest, Food Tank developed 24 images about ways each of us can reduce water waste. Please check them out (and feel free to share them) by clicking HERE.
2. Drop In the Bucket put together this great short video for YouTube offering powerful facts about water.
3. UN World Water Day did a series of great animations and educational materials to celebrate World Water Day.
4. For great research and advocacy campaigns about food and water all year long see the Food and Water Watch website.
5. For more information about international water policy check out the Global Water Policy Project.
6. The Center for Investigative Reporting offers these six cool infographics about food and water.
7. And several of the CGIAR centers provide great research and tools, including the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)