STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MINISTER RIYAD MANSOUR (STATE OF PALESTINE), CHAIR OF THE GROUP OF 77, AT THE HIGH-LEVEL MEETING ON THE PROTECTION OF THE GLOBAL CLIMATE FOR PRESENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS OF HUMANKIND IN THE CONTEXT OF THE ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL DIMENSIONS OF THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (New York, 28 March 2019)
Excellencies, all Protocol observed,
Ladies and Gentleman,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
Allow me at the outset to thank you Madam President for convening this High Level meeting at this critical juncture, building on the outcome of COP24 in Katowice, and in advance of COP25 in Chile and of the HLPF in July, including the review of SDG13, and of the SDG summit in September; and on the road to the 2019 Climate Summit in September, including the 'stocktaking' meeting in the United Arab Emirates in June.
Humankind can defeat climate change or be defeated by it. It is a binary choice, between survival and extinction. Not only the survival of our specie, but of our planet, and of all the life it carries today and is promised to carry tomorrow. We cannot hide behind ignorance. The science is clear, and we are more aware than ever of the perils caused by climate change, and our public opinions are conscious of the problem and they demand and strive for solutions. We cannot hide behind powerlessness. We can mobilize the necessary means and resources to turn the tide before it is too late. We cannot leave this problem to another generation, as we are fast approaching a point of no return. The only sane choice is to act, act now, with the necessary resolve, solidarity, equity and justice.
Climate change's widespread and unprecedented impacts disproportionately burden all developing countries and in particular the poorest and most vulnerable among them. We thus intend to be at the forefront of efforts to combat climate change.
We reaffirm in this context our unwavering support for the multilateral approach to address the pressing global challenge of climate change, with the UNFCCC as the lead, and to secure full implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Humanity remains on a dangerous path to higher increases in global temperature, as highlighted by the IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C, and therefore more, not less, needs to be done. This is not the time to backslide on existing commitments but rather a time to build on them.
Outcomes are not to be renegotiated nor reinterpreted, as the process under the Paris Agreement is irreversible. We need to maintain the balance struck in the Paris Agreement between adaptation, mitigation, and means of implementation. The agreement was also crafted with a delicate balance between action on the one hand and support on the other, in accordance with its objectives, principles and provisions that must be fully operationalized, in particular equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances, and while giving due consideration to the right to development, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.
No viable solution can ignore the developing countries' urgent developmental needs and priorities, including to pull their populations out of abject poverty. In this context, All Means of Implementation are essential to assist and enable developing parties to make their contributions under the Paris Agreement.
Adequate capacity-building, transfer of technology and financing support for developing countries are critical and should be based on and respond to national needs and priorities, and foster country ownership. Multilaterally agreed modalities are needed to track the delivery of $100 billion per year in climate finance by 2020. Furthermore, additional and scaled up finance that is secure, predictable and sustainable is crucial for developing countries in the post-2020 context.
The stakes are too high for us all to continue on an adversarial path. We need to find a way to do this together. With the elevated threat, and the increasing awareness of the gravity of the issue not only by states but also by non-state actors, we have a historic and maybe last chance of shifting course by taking advantage of a new spirit, of advances in technology, of inspiring commitment from youth movements around the world, of small business investing in climate related micro projects, of big business sometimes realizing the value of being more climate friendly. With the necessary support, transitioning to a low-emissions, climate-resilient world, can stop being a burden and prove to be an opportunity, including for developing countries. Instead of being construed as a drag to development, it can drive growth, sustainable development and overall wellbeing. This is only possible if the expressed will is matched by equivalent means.
We will continue to demonstrate full commitment to doing our fair share of the lifting. We have our legitimate development goals but will always strive to show as much ambition as possible when it comes to curbing emissions. There is a path that allows us all to benefit while preserving our planet for generations to come. Finding it will be our single greatest legacy. Generations to come will measure our success and failure based on that sole yardstick. Our failure will lead to their doom. Our success will pave the way for their bright future.
I thank you.