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High Level Climate Event of the PGA, June 29th 2015

30.06.2015  22:20
Remarks by the incoming President of the General Assembly of UNGA70, H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft

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President of the General Assembly,

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon,  President of Kiribati

COP-presidents, Excellences, Distinguished Delegates, ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you for inviting me to give a few remarks at this timely event on an issue, which is of the greatest importance to us all.

I wish to commend the extraordinary initiative and commitment of the President of the General Assembly and the Secretary General and their very clear statements also this morning. Climate change is a most urgently needed field for global action, if we are to avoid unsurmountable waves of migration and conflict in the next generations. The encyclical of His Holiness Pope Francis is very promising for mobilising popular support for action.

Mr. President

In December we will have a unique opportunity to make a collective push against climate change that matches the urgency of the situation.

With 7 billion people on our planet - and counting - the need to produce and consume without exerting unnecessary pressure on the planet grows more pressing by the hour.

Future generations will not have the same opportunity to mitigate climate change that we have today. We should continue to remind ourselves that it is not us but them, who will bear the burden, should we fail to find common ground. 

While the dangers of inaction to our common humanity are increasing, the benefits of timely collective action remain second to none. For the economy, jobs and health to mention just a few areas.

The environment stands as one of three pillars of the new sustainable development agenda. It is an integral part of the sustainable development goals that will be central to the global efforts to improve lives while preserving the planet.

We must therefore spare no efforts to achieve a good outcome in Paris. It will be the first real test of our collective commitment to development in an environmentally sustainable manner – the first transformation of the new development goals into actual action on a wider scale.

Failing this test is not an option. The world already has all too many conflicts and outstanding problems and a too weak and slow process of decision making in dealing with the very existential problems of mankind. I really hope that we are now able to finally mobilise the will to act.

The importance of a universal and ambitious agreement at COP21 in Paris on climate change is key. This agreement need to be supported by an ambitious financial package and by action by all stakeholders in government, business and civil society around the world.

So, if deemed beneficial to the negotiations, I am willing to work very closely with all of you this fall to help gather momentum toward COP21 in support of the UNFCCC-based deliberations.

Next year in April, I intend to convene a high level event on implementation of the SDGs, including climate change. Taking a hard look at catalysing and scaling up financial flows and investments to developing countries including for climate action could be one key element of this event. 

Mr. President

As we stand halfway between Lima and Paris, I firmly support your focus on climate change and stand ready to build on your efforts to secure success in Paris.

It is my sincere hope that today’s deliberations prove fruitful and take us one step further in shifting the world on to a sustainable path.

Thank you.