MSG DG Says Only Way Forward To Advancing Climate Actions Is Political Will

Ambassador Amena Yauvoli during his speech at the third Asia Pacific Climate Week being held in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: UNESCAP

The Director General of the MSG Secretariat Ambassador Amena Yauvoli made a firm statement during the High-Level Opening Plenary in Bangkok, Thailand on Wednesday stating that strong political leadership is highly crucial and is a cornerstone priority to galvanizing effective support for enhancing effective climate action.

Mr Yauvoli was among the high-level plenary participants that opened the third Asia Pacific Climate Week currently in Bangkok, Thailand with the theme “Towards COP25 and Efforts to Achieve the Aims of the Paris Agreement.

Speaking during the opening plenary, Mr Yauvoli highlighted five important key areas that need crucial attention if the world is to achieve the aims of the Paris Agreement.

In his opening remarks, he reiterated that all parties must not ignore the objectives of Articles 1 and Article 2 of the Climate Change Convention, especially on stabilization of greenhouse concentration in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interferences in the climate systems.

He said that it is important that such a level should be achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change to ensure food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.

Mr Yauvoli also highlighted the serious concerns raised in the IPCC 1.5 Report. He said that the science is very clear and there is an urgent need to raise ambitions and collectively expedite implementation of mitigation measures to reduce emissions to net zero by mid-century (2050) or better by 2030 in order to stay within the remaining small carbon budget for limiting global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

He went on further highlighting the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) and encouraged country’s NDC’s to be ambitious and transformational with tangible impact towards the achievement of the Paris Agreement and the 1.5 degrees temperature goal. It is envisaged that the revised NDC’s are expected to be submitted by 2020 and the initial Global Stock Take (GST) to be conducted in 2023 and thereafter on a five-year cycle.

He said that while countries are working on achieving these goals, the United National Environment Programme (UNEP) Mission Gap Report in 2018, expressed that the current NDC commitments are inadequate to bridge the emission gap in 2030 making it a challenge to ensure global warming stays below 2 degrees and 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Among other measures highlighted, Mr Yauvoli also stressed the means of implementation of these climate action plans including financial, human and technical resources to implement adaptation and mitigation actions. He said these means of implementation are very crucial and that the Annex 1 Parties must resolutely commit to the replenishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). While he acknowledged the steadfast commitment of some Annex 1 Parties like, Germany, Norway, France and Canada towards these common goals and climate actions, he is optimistic that other partners will eventually commit sooner than later. It is understood that the GCF Pledging Conference will be convened in France on October 28 – 29.

The Ambassador emphasized that the replenishment of the GCF is critical to resourcing and successful implementation of climate action plans and NDCs by non Annex 1 Parties because it provides predictability and assurance of climate finance and in line with the principles of ownership, inclusivity of all stakeholders, sustainability and effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation actions, and mainstreaming of climate into national development plans.

Concluding his remarks, Mr Yauvoli reminded the participants that all these climate ambitions and action plans are only effective, if there is strong political will. He informed the meeting of a decision of the recent Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Meeting held in Tuvalu that strong political leadership to advance climate change action is a cornerstone priorities informed by science. We cannot agree more!

The MSG Secretariat delegation led by the DG are currently participating in the Asia Pacific Climate Week engaged in a panel discussion on the theme “NDC Implementation- Raising Ambition”, several high-level discussions with partners working towards leveraging support and visibility for the MSG Climate Finance Strategy.

It is understood that a Side Event for the MSG Climate Finance Strategy would be held yesterday and there had been positive indications of support from various donor partners.

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