Page 5 - Respond 2019 Magazine
P. 5


          UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa. Photo by IISD/Kiara Worth (

          Parties made some progress at Cop23 in Bonn. And they had   Worse, it will result in incredible suffering and hardship for people
          another opportunity to make progress at a special session in   and societies throughout the world.
          Bangkok, but it wasn’t enough. All this while the stakes have never   But addressing climate change, and committing to a low-emissions
          been higher, or the urgency greater.
                                                               future, one that is more resilient and sustainable, offers incredible
          So, we must diligently work on the negotiating texts here so that   opportunity.
          we can achieve in Katowice.
                                                               It’s not just an opportunity to do the right thing, it’s an
          Certainly, after Katowice, further work will be needed in   opportunity to completely transform the way we produce and
          developing the climate change regime throughout all its details.  consume, and the way we live.

          However, success at Cop24 means finalizing the Paris Agreement   And that means new markets, new businesses, and, for so many
          work programme.                                      people throughout the world, new job - quality jobs - a just
                                                               transition to a future that is just for all people.
          We no longer have the luxury of time, nor do we have the luxury
          of endless negotiations.                             As secretary general Antonio Guterres so clearly put it, the
                                                               idea that tackling climate change is expensive and could harm
          A completed work programme will not only provide guidelines
          for the Paris Agreement, but unleash its full potential. More   economic growth is nonsense. In fact, the opposite is true.
          than that, it sends a signal of trust that nations are serious about   The International Labour Organization reports that the green
          addressing climate change.                           economy could create 24 million new jobs globally by 2030.
          We need progress on several other issues as well, including   Incredible opportunity exists if we embrace a low-carbon future
          commitments to boost global climate action and ensuring nations   and unleash the power of the Paris Agreement.
          fulfill their financial pledges to support the climate regime.
                                                               But we must first achieve our very specific goals at Cop24. People
          Let us never forget that climate change, if left unaddressed, will take   of the world want us to achieve results at Cop24 and we intend to
          almost every single challenge humanity faces and make it worse.  reach those goals.

          It will destabilize the global economy, which will affect all nations.   So, let’s prepare accordingly. Let’s get ready to work. Let us
          By 2030, the loss of productivity caused by a hotter world could   recommit to multilateralism. And let’s finish the job the world
          cost the global economy $2 trillion.                 demands of us.
          It will create conflict over resources and impact migration. It’s   Patricia Espinosa is executive secretary of UN Climate Change. This
          estimated that climate change could displace between 50 million   is a lightly edited version of the speech she gave to ministers and
          and 200 million people by 2050.                      lead negotiators at a pre-Cop meeting in October.

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