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Statement delivered by H.E. Ambassador Ib Petersen, Permanent Representative of Denmark to the UN, at High-level SDG Action Event entitled: Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Agenda, 23 March 2017 in New York

24.03.2017  00:15

(Check against delivery)

Mr. President, Excellencies,

The Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals provide the framework the world needs to tackle the alarming challenges from climate change.

Never before – in modern times – have global temperatures been as high as we see today. This is threatening to fundamentally change conditions for our common development.
We are moving forward – for example on the energy transition. But we are not moving fast enough.

The Danish Government remains strongly committed to fast track action on climate change – at home and abroad. We are aiming to become a low-emission society independent of fossil fuels by 2050. We will ensure that at least 50% of our electricity consumption in 2030 comes from renewable energy.

We fully recognize the challenges climate change poses to many developing countries. The Nationally Determined Contributions form the basis for future action and Denmark is committed to support developing countries in their efforts to implement these - both on the mitigation and adaptation side. 

From our own transition process towards sustainable energy we have gained valuable knowhow and experiences and we are eager to share our lessons learned. One way we do this is through our strategic sector cooperation with several partner countries.

Through our multilateral engagement we support several climate finance mechanisms including the Green Climate Fund and the Least Developed Countries Fund. We have also joined the new NDC Partnership. 

We recognize that climate change poses a special challenge for many Small Island Developing States and through the SIDS-DOCK program Denmark is committed to support SIDS in capacity building, deployment of renewable energy and adaptation. 

But to reach the SDGs we must get the private sector on board. Public funds will never be enough to reach the 1,2 billion USD annually which is needed – just to reach the SDG goals on energy.

It is critical to get more investors and businesses around the world to internalize the Global Goals. No doubt that aligning business strategies and investments with the goals will generate long-term impacts on their bottom line. The private sector has an enlightened self-interest to embrace the goals. According to the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, expanding renewable energy - in keeping with the both SDG7 on energy and SDG13 on combatting climate change - represents business opportunities worth between 165 and 605 billion USD annually. Increasing industrial energy efficiency and expanding energy storage systems represent an additional opportunity of hundreds of billions

We – the global community –also have an interest in getting more business and investors to on-board the goals. We simply cannot meet them alone. We need the private sector’s skills, innovation, technology and investments.

Governments can play a mobilizing role to make this happen incl. by using development funding as a catalyst for private sector engagement. Denmark has already taken a number of initiatives to promote private sector and investor engagement – at home, abroad and with the UN.

To fight climate change and ensure a prosperous future for all, we must use the entire tool box, and Denmark continues to stand ready as a constructive partner in our joint efforts.