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Source: Small Island Developing States

21 September 2019: The UNFCCC convened an event in New York, US, ahead of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, bringing together representatives from government, the UN and civil society to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the UNFCCC and discuss the way forward.

The event was hosted by the UNFCCC Bureau, under the leadership of Michał Kurtyka, President of the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC. It sought to identify ways for the UNFCCC to further: stimulate greater ambition of climate action and support governments and stakeholders in shaping their vision for a climate-resilient and emissions-neutral future; and support strong implementation at the national, regional and international levels.

The Convention has delivered a well-designed framework for global climate action for all.

Noting the UNFCCC’s near universal membership, Kurtyka stated that, over the years, it has created a “toolbox” to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, build resilience and provide the necessary technology, capacity building and finance to do so. “The Convention has delivered a well-designed framework for global climate action for all, respecting national sovereignty but able to gradually ramp up global ambition. The Paris Agreement and Katowice Rulebook are state-of-the-art mechanisms with so much potential. But we need the collective political willingness to now move forward,” he said.

Acknowledging the UNFCCC’s successes, other Bureau members highlighted the need for greater ambition, enhanced implementation, and understanding of the science in order to take effective action.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, described the last 25 years as a “time of challenges and opportunities, with disappointments matched by some incredible successes.” UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, highlighted greater collaboration among all actors on the SDGs and the climate change agenda as “a major bright spot.”

Highlighting the importance of governments and non-state actors such as industries, cities and citizens working together, President Designate of COP 25, Chile’s Environment Minister Carolina Schmidt, stated that the Santiago Climate Change Conference will build on the momentum of the UN Climate Action Summit. [UNFCCC Press Release] [Event Agenda] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Climate Action Summit]

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News