UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell’s Speech at the Opening of COP27.
The UN Climate Change Conference in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, should shift the world towards implementation of previously agreed plans to tackle humanity’s greatest challenge, Simon Stiell, the new Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Convention (UNFCCC), said at the opening of COP27.
Speaking at the opening session of the Conference today (06 Nov), the UN Climate chief Simon Stiell said, “today a new era begins – and we begin to do things differently.”
He reiterated, “Paris gave us the agreement. Katowice and Glasgow gave us the plan. Sharm El-Sheik shifts us to implementation. No one can be a mere passenger on this journey. This is the signal that times have changed.”
He also said, “we will be holding people to account – be they Presidents, Prime Ministers or CEOs, an Accountability-Chief, if you may. Because our policies, our businesses, our infrastructure, our actions, be they personal or public, must be aligned with the Paris Agreement and with the Convention.”
Our COP process is unique and must create a safe political space, shielded from whatever is going on “out there”, to do our jobs and deliver world change, the UNFCCC chief added.
Stiell listed three critical lines of action.
First, he said, “we must demonstrate this transformational shift to implementation. Putting negotiations into concrete actions. Every corner of human activity must align with our Paris commitment of pursuing efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees”
The Executive Secretary added, “let’s be encouraged by the strides that certain sectors are making on this. And let’s look closer at how the global financial architecture can be made fit for purpose in line with the Paris commitments.”
The second line of action, Stiell said, “we must cement progress on these critical workstreams – mitigation, adaptation, finance and crucially – loss and damage.”
He continued, “we need to enable enhanced finance to flow to addressing impacts. What is said in these negotiating rooms has to reflect of the urgency outside. There are areas of commonality which we can lean into and build bridges upon.”
“Our third line of action: we must enhance the delivery of the principles of transparency and accountability throughout our process. The environmental integrity and the reliability of the commitments made, are paramount,” Stiell said.
Earlier in the opening plenary, Alok Sharma, President of COP26 representing the United Kingdom, passed the baton officially to the new Egyptian President, Sameh Shoukry.
COP27 President Sameh Shoukry called on delegates to scale up ambition and begin implementing the promises already made.
The UNFCCC convention entered into force on 21 March 1994 to prevent “dangerous” human interference with the climate system. Today, ratified by 198 countries, it has near-universal membership. The Paris Agreement, agreed in 2016, works as an extension of that convention.
The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945. Currently made up of 193 Member States, the UN and its work are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter.
The UN has evolved over the years to keep pace with a rapidly changing world.
But one thing has stayed the same: it remains the one place on Earth where all the world’s nations can gather together, discuss common problems, and find shared solutions that benefit all of humanity.
The UNFCCC secretariat (UN Climate Change) is the United Nations entity tasked with supporting the global response to the threat of climate change. UNFCCC stands for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Convention has near universal membership (197 Parties) and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep the global average temperature rise this century as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The ultimate objective of all three agreements under the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system, in a time frame which allows ecosystems to adapt naturally and enables sustainable development.
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