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Mohammed urges ‘unequivocal’ global response to climate change

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Ms Amina Mohammed, on Monday, July 1, 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, called for “unequivocal’’ global response to climate change and funding gaps.

Amina Mohammed
UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed. Photo credit: African Union Commission

Mohammed made the call at a preparatory meeting in the buildup to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit billed for Sept. 21 in New York.

“The Climate Action Summit is not about negotiations for an outcome document.  It is about raising ambition and accelerating action.  We can no longer afford any delay.

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has spelled it out.  And so have the young activists who are taking to the streets in growing numbers.

“They want action, not words. When we reach the Summit, our response must be unequivocal,’’ she said.

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The UN deputy chief emphasised that plans announced, and initiatives launched must be clearly practical, viable and help to meet set objectives.

“That means limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and building resilience to the changes that are to come.

“The proposals must also bring with them the political leadership and determination with the means of implementation to make them a reality, she added.

Mohammed acknowledged the efforts of multi-stakeholders working together to develop initiatives capable of transforming economies and societies.

These, she said, include plans to make cities, which are responsible for 70 per cent of global emissions, greener, and to deliver on the Secretary-General’s call for no more coal‑fired power plants by 2020.

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“This means creating viable alternatives to coal, and ensuring they are accessible to all, especially those left furthest behind.

“I have heard about steps being taken to rebuild our natural ecosystems. This will help us to cut emissions and protect us from the impacts of climate change.

“And underpinning all of this is the need to engage the whole of society in a just transition to enable the movement to a clean economy to bring all parts of society with us.

“So, we can be pleased.  But the work is not over yet.  As the Secretary‑General said yesterday, we desperately need to mobilise the finance necessary to support this transition.

“This means replenishing the Green Climate Fund and meeting the commitment of mobilising $100 billion a year by 2020’’.

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She noted that efforts to transform economies and societies would not succeed without the necessary funds.

Mohammed described 2019 as a defining year not only in meeting the 2020 carbon reduction goals, but also in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“And let us be frank.  We are not on track so far to deliver on the ambitions we have set for ourselves on climate change or the Sustainable Development Goals.

“The aim of this meeting in Abu Dhabi is to take stock of where we are and identify what more needs to be done to bring ambitious, concrete and realistic plans to the Climate Action Summit.

“Plans that will secure our footing on the beginning of a path to reach 1.5°C by the end of this century,’’ she said. 

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