UNFCCC Executive Secretary Points to “Inextricable” Linkages between Biodiversity and Climate Change Agendas
UN Photo/Mark Garten
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Speaking at an HLPF side event, Espinosa explained that the Paris Agreement and the SDGs are dependent on the health of the planet, and called for long-term, sustainable solutions to link the climate change and biodiversity agendas.

Noting that the fight over resources worsens social, economic and environmental pressures, which can lead to displacement, social upheaval and violent conflict, Espinosa urged taking climate action now to ensure an adequate supply of resources in the future, and to ensure protection of biodiversity.

18 July 2018: Biodiversity and climate change are inextricably linked, according to UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa. Speaking at a side event convened by the Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on the sidelines of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), she also outlined climate change goals by the end of 2018.

The event emphasized that because ecosystems play an important role in the global carbon cycle and in adapting to climate change, conserving natural terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems and restoring degraded ecosystems is critical to achieve the goals under both the UNFCCC and the CBD.

Climate change must be addressed to protect biodiversity, and biodiversity must be protected to address climate change.

Espinosa stressed that the Paris Agreement on climate change and the SDGs are dependent on the health of the planet, and called for long-term, sustainable solutions to link the climate change and biodiversity agendas. She said climate change must be addressed to protect biodiversity, and biodiversity must be protected to address climate change. The same applies, she noted, to desertification and climate change. She reiterated that climate change can contribute to more frequent droughts and floods, hurricanes and extreme weather events related to water, which puts pressure on food, energy and clean water. Noting that the fight over resources worsens social, economic and environmental pressures, which can lead to displacement, social upheaval and violent conflict, Espinosa urged taking climate action now to ensure an adequate supply of resources in the future, and to ensure protection of biodiversity.

Espinosa also outlined three goals to be achieved by the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC in Katowice, Poland, in December 2018: the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) must be agreed; countries must significantly accelerate global climate ambition before 2020; and ambition must be reflected in the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

The HLPF convened from 9-18 July 2018 in New York, US. [UNFCCC Press Release]


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