13/11/17

“Focus on Climate Action That Leads to Real Transformation” – Climate Champion High-Level Climate Champion’s Speech at the High-Level Opening of Global Climate Action

High-Level Climate Champion’s Speech at the High-Level Opening of Global Climate Action.

Bula vinaka, guten morgen and a very good morning to you all.

It is an honour and pleasure to speak with you today.

As part of the Marrakech Partnership, and on behalf of the Fijian COP Presidency, I would like to welcome you to the High-Level Opening of Global Climate Action.

We are gathered here at a critical moment in the international response to climate change. We have just been informed that 2017 was one of the hottest years on record. We are seeing more severe and frequent natural disasters and extreme weather events.  From the devastating hurricanes in the Caribbean, to the droughts in sub-Saharan Africa, and the flooding in South Asia – we are already feeling the impacts of climate change across the globe. And this is just the beginning.

I have seen this first-hand in Fiji. Climate change is already affecting our lives and livelihood. This is why the Fijian COP Presidency will be representing the voice of the vulnerable and the marginalised.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action was launched in recognition that national governments cannot achieve the Paris goals alone. Success will depend on concrete action from all levels of government, the private sector and civil society. The Partnership’s mission is to strengthen such collaboration to immediately lower emissions pre-2020 and increase resilience against climate impacts, guided by the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and undertaken in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

It is also important to remember that the Marrakech Partnership is a time-bound mission that will focus on immediate climate actions between now and 2020 to support the success and over-achievement of the national climate plans, as well as National Adaptation Plans.

The focus is on climate action that leads to real transformation. Credible transformation from a high carbon emission world towards net-zero carbon economies. Where a community living in a state of vulnerability develops capacity to cope and meet the challenges of climate change. Where all these actions are underpinned by the principles of sustainability.  

At COP23, the Marrakech Partnership has planned and hosted a five-day program of events to discuss climate actions – actions that involve innovative technologies, and transformative approaches and solutions.

Over the past 3 days, we have witnessed rich discussions on eight thematic areas – with over 100 events in a range formats – from plenary events and roundtable discussions, to press conferences and digital dialogues.

Ladies and gentlemen,

These thematic areas represent a huge, almost limitless potential to have exponential impact. But, for that impact to be genuinely transformative, action is needed for solutions that lie in the nexus between the thematic areas; for instance, the interlinkages between urban energy, transport and infrastructure.

Action across thematic areas must also enhance solutions for the cross-cutting issues of health, gender, education, jobs, resilience, innovation, and finance. It is these cross-cutting issues that underscore the progress made under the thematic areas.

I see a central role for the Marrakech Partnership in providing the impetus to strengthen action, which is why, over the next two days, we will be hearing from global leaders who can talk to these issues. We will also host focused events on the Sustainable Development Goals – later today on, Sustainable Cities & Communities (SDG 11), and tomorrow on Zero Hunger (SDG 2), as we believe that current efforts at ensuring adaptation and building resilience to climate change, can only flourish if there is a concerted strategy and action to implement the SDGs across sectors.

The impact of the Marrakech Partnership can only grow with the number of initiatives that take climate action.  Future success depends on delivery of commitments and the determination to raise ambition.  

We are calling on those who share our passion in the fight against climate change to align with and work through the Marrakech Partnership.  

We have to be united for climate action, further, faster -together!

Vinaka vakalevu – danke schoen – Thank you