Safranbolu İklim Değişikliği Konferansı


Statement by
Kamal Malhotra
United Nations Resident Coordinator, Turkey
Resident Representative, UNDP Turkey

Safranbolu, Karabuk

Honorable Minister of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization
Honorable Undersecretary

Ladies and Gentlemen,

•    It is my pleasure to address you on behalf of the UN in Turkey at the Safranbolu Climate Change Conference. I would like to congratulate the Ministry of Environment for organizing this conference at this point in time.

•    By far the greatest challenge that humankind has faced so far is “human-induced” climate change. The unprecedented climate change that we experience today is induced by us, and hence can be prevented by no one other than us. And, by us, I mean everyone.

•    As scientists indicate, we have already reached or exceeded the carrying capacity of several of the earth’s ecosystems. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently concluded in its latest assessment that Climate Change is unequivocal! The next ten years will likely see another 700 million people added to the world’s population, more than 1 billion additional middle-class consumers, and significant growth in economic output. In this context, we all have to recognize the fundamental links between environment and development, and all governments must embed natural resource constraints into their decision-making; and all key actors – from local communities to national governments, the private sector and civil society must play an active role in contributing to the solutions.

•    As we approach the 21st Conference of Parties in Paris this December, where a legally agreed outcome is expected, the contributions of all countries will play an important role. The quote “time is irreversible” takes on a new meaning in the climate change context. Additionally, the cost of inaction should be measured not only in monetary terms but also in terms of lost lives, livelihoods and generations, to which attaching a price is not possible.

•    Climate change requires global solutions; I could not agree more with that statement. But, let me add that appropriate global solutions can only be achieved with more collaboration at national and local level. So, it all starts right here, in this very room.

•    Important lessons can be drawn from the experience in the climate change negotiations. It is recognized by all parties that the post 2020 climate change regime should center around the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities”. That it should be inclusive and allow countries to make their contributions to global mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

•    This conference comes at a very critical period of time for the development of the world. Many are describing 2015 as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for development because a number of major global processes come to a head in the course of the year. The first was in Japan this month, the UN Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. Turkey has invested a great deal in building its resilience to disasters with considerable success even though more needs to be done.

•    In July, in Ethiopia, the third International Conference on Financing for Development takes place. While money is not everything, it certainly helps our development efforts – and a great deal of funding from many sources will be needed to finance the new global sustainable development agenda.

•    Then follow two other critical processes which are at the heart of our discussion today: the finalization of the Sustainable Development Goals, to be agreed on in September by Heads of State and Government at the United Nations, and the finalization of a new global agreement on climate change at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December.

•    In sum, many global agreements are expected to be reached this year – including on the post-2015 development agenda, and on tackling climate change. The outcomes of each will be more powerful if there is synergy between them. There are signs that a consensus is emerging that eradicating extreme poverty, building resilience to disaster, and reducing carbon emissions must go hand in hand.

•    At the UN, we have no doubt that coherence across agendas concerning poverty eradication, disaster reduction, and tackling climate change, will be essential for inclusive, low emission, and climate-resilient development. Achieving sustainable development requires that we achieve that coherence.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

•    The Safranbolu Climate Change conference is very timely considering these important events. We see it as yet another effort to strengthen cooperation and to promote good practices on a green economy and climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as an effective implementation of international agreements.

•    The global challenges of the world can only be tackled by collective action. It is within our collective capacity to tackle them to secure our common future for a more sustainable and equitable world. In order to enable this, strong leadership and an engaged citizenry will be key. The leadership of Turkey in this area will be important.

•    Turkey is actively engaged in all these processes. This year Turkey holds the Presidency of G20. We are very pleased to see that “energy sustainability” and “climate change finance” are among the key priorities of Turkey’s G-20 Presidency in 2015. We are also very pleased to see that special importance is attached by the Turkish Presidency to the needs of the Low Income Developing Countries, which are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are here to pave the way for sustainable development both in Turkey and the world. Turkey is part of the solution and I look forward to its even more active contributions in this area in the future.

I thank you.

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