At COP 23, UN Secretary-General Highlights Areas for Greater Ambition
UN Photo/Cia Pak
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The UN Secretary-General called for more ambition to tackle climate change in five areas: emissions, adaptation, finance, partnerships and leadership.

Guterres announced that he will convene a climate summit to mobilize political and economic energy in September 2019.

15 November 2017: The Kyoto Protocol, which will mark its 20th anniversary in December 2017, remains an “essential vehicle” for developed countries to more rapidly and urgently cut their emissions, according to UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Addressing the High-Level Segment of the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UNFCCC, Guterres called on all Parties that have not yet done so to ratify the Doha Amendment, which establishes the second commitment period of action under the Protocol.

If infrastructure projects aren’t “green,” they shouldn’t be given the “green light,” said Guterres.

Speaking in Bonn, Germany, on 15 November, Guterres called for more ambition to tackle climate change in five areas: emissions, adaptation, finance, partnerships and leadership. He urged countries to use the 2020 revision of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to close the 2030 emissions gap and “reinvigorate engagement” with the Green Climate Fund (GCF). He said that “if big infrastructure projects aren’t green, they shouldn’t be given the green light.”

He stressed the need to: mobilize the private sector for an energy transformation; engage global technology giants, the oil and gas sector and the automotive industry to ensure business plans are consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change; and engage the agricultural and forestry sectors to ensure climate-friendly land use. He supported pursuing Denmark’s proposal for a clean energy investment coalition, and said carbon pricing is key to reducing emissions, noting that carbon pricing initiatives have generated US$22 billion and more than half of NDCs cite the need for carbon pricing.

Finally, Guterres announced that he will convene a climate summit to mobilize political and economic energy at the highest levels in September 2019, and called on countries to ratify and implement the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

The Doha Amendment covers the pre-2020 period, which is considered critical in the overall effort to meet the Paris goals. To date, 88 Parties have accepted the Amendment, which requires 144 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol to enter into force. To celebrate the Protocol’s anniversary and to encourage more Parties to ratify the Amendment, UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) is launching a social media campaign asking people to send messages of support ahead of the 11 December anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol. [UNFCCC Press Release] [UN Press Release] [UN Secretary-General’s Remarks at COP 23 Opening] [IISD RS Coverage of COP 23]


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