SDG ACTION ZONE IS NOW AVAILABLE ON DEMAND!

This year the UN SDG Action Campaign became an online space engaging world leaders and emerging leaders to accelerate solutions for the sustainable development goals. During three days between 22-24 September, a total of 46 panels brought together 90 million people!

 The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens hosted a breakout session introducing its #fellows and #scholars who discussed how they tackled challenges in their own communities, the concept of #SDG Micro-projects, and how everyone can make a difference.  

The session featured 5 of the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s outstanding Global Citizen Scholars and Fellows: Oyindamola Adegboye, Alhassan Baba Muniru, Farida Amiri, Latifa AlWazzan, and Belinda Isimbi Uwase and their innovative ‘SDG Micro-Projects’ for their communities.

“An SDG Micro-Project is a project that addresses one or more of the SDGs in a specific community. Sometimes these projects also have a bigger regional or global focus.” Julia Zimmerman 

The speakers shared their experiences with #activism for the #SDGs by tackling problems in their communities like improving recycling in Ghana, promoting inclusive peacebuilding in Afghanistan, and supporting the empowerment of girls in Rwanda to reach their full potential.

“Local problems must be solved by local people. Young people are the current and future change-makers and should be empowered to start acting now.” Alhassan Muniru 

Additionally, the speakers offered suggestions for how their ideas could be replicated elsewhere and scaled. At the end of the session, each speaker shared a ‘call to action’ for young activists around the world, making inspiring statements for how to ‘change the game’ for the SDGs.  

“If we include the younger generation, particularly young women, in peacebuilding activities or peacebuilding processes, somehow we also directly or indirectly address and tackle the issue of coexistence which is very important in order to step forward and to implement the other SDGs.” Farida Amiri 

Watch the session in full below: 

ABOUT THE SDG ACTION ZONE:

As a side event of the United Nations General Assembly on 22–24 September 2020, the fully virtual SDG Action Zone convened leading thinkers, actors, creators, and activists through frank debate, challenging discussions, inspiring showcases, and creative experiences to drive the exponential change on three core areas for accelerating action on the Goals: People, Planet and Partnerships.

BKMC Hosts Final Mentoring Workshop with Mentees for 2020 on the Importance of Network Building for Young Women

Last week, the BKMC, in cooperation with the Muslim Youth of Austria (MJÖ), hosted its third and final mentee workshop for the mentoring project 2020 – Global Citizens at Work.

The workshop featured Mag.iur Anna Steiger, Vice Rector Human Resources and Gender at the Technical University in Vienna and focused on the importance of network building for young women.

Ms. Steiger shared a bit about her own background in law and how she was able to advance her career through a variety of networks, both formal and informal.


She emphasized the importance of joining networks that you feel comfortable with and that networking is not a “one-way street. It has to go both ways and you have to be ready to invest in it.”

While networks can open doors for jobs, she also underlined that one can also get jobs without the help of networks.

Ms. Steiger discussed two types of networks: formal and informal and how both can be important for women. For example, she founded her own formal network “Salon Real” which is a network for women in the property branch. In comparison, an informal network may result from meeting other parents at your children’s kindergarten or be formed from colleagues at your university.

During the Q&A, the mentees had a chance to ask Ms. Steiger some of their more pressing questions. One of the mentees asked her to share her “tips for success” as a woman building a career. She recommended the following:

  • If you don’t get the job, be happy! You probably weren’t the right person for the job. 99% of the time this is true.
  • Timing is important. You need to know it and use it.
  • Your friends and family are important! Don’t forget them.
  • Be able to turn off.

The mentoring program for 2020 will end in November this year. During the final weeks, mentoring pairs will submit their SDG Micro-Project reports and attend a final closing event on November 17th. Stay tuned for updates!

 

 

 

Ban Ki-moon Contributes to Bahrain Visions Forum

On September 29, 2020 Ban Ki-moon Centre Co-chair, Ban Ki-moon contributed to the Bahrain Visions Forum taking place on the sidelines of the virtual United Nations General Assembly. 

The event was co-hosted by the Kingdom of Bahrain and the World Health Organization (WHO) and focused on the Sustainable Development Goals Beyond the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

Young voices from Bahrain introduced the high-level forum calling for action on the SDGs:

Following opening remarks by Bahrain’s Foreign Minister H.E. Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani and H.E. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, the event included high-level speeches and messages by

  • Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Audrey Azouley, Director General of UNESCO
  • Dr. Denis Mukwege, Nobel laureate

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon contributed his remarks in a video message,  emphasizing that particularly during times of COVID-19, it is essential to “empower and include the voices of women and youth”.

Pointing to the fact that young people and women comprise at least 75% of the world’s population, Ban Ki-moon stressed that more must be done to engage these two groups as they are enablers to achieve sustainable development.

Watch the full event here:

BKMC at the SDG Marketplace

On September 24th, the BKMC participated in an SDG Marketplace event organized by the Directorate of Education of the City of Vienna. During the fair, a diverse selection of institutions presented their teaching and learning materials on the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly for students. The materials will be showcased throughout the year for teachers and students at the Bildungshub Vienna.

Info booths were provided by BAOBABÖKOLOGAmnesty International AustriaForum Umweltbildung, and the Human Rights Office of the City of Vienna and BKMC.

 

The networking event highlighted the diverse SDG activities of the participating organizations and served to explore possible synergies in the implementation of the SDGs, particularly in the education sector.

City of Vienna Director of the Education Hub Mag. Heinrich Himmer and Co-Chair of the BKMC, Dr. Heinz Fischer emphasized the crucial role of schools as multipliers for the SDGs. Children and youth are the changemakers of tomorrow who must utilize the Agenda 2030 as a roadmap to navigate in the world and to solve its complex challenges.”

The newly launched interactive SDG wall, including an app, will serve as an instrument to educate students about the interconnectedness of the 17 goals.

Co-Chair Dr. Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Fröhler addressed teachers and students in a video message, in which they highlighted the importance of the SDGs BKMC’s contribution notably the Centre’s three completely free online courses, the portfolio of SDG micro-projects prepared by the Centre’s various fellows and scholars and the SDG Resource Hub. More teaching and learning materials are available at Bildung2030

BKMC CEO MONIKA FROEHLER JOINS BLOOMBERG GREEN FESTIVAL

 
#BKMC CEO Monika Froehler was a panelist for an online discussion part of the five-day Bloomberg Green Festival organized by Bloomberg and Global citizen. The engaging session titled how to Feed the Future – Food Security in the Context of Climate Change focused on farmers, produce and the impact of Climate Change and #COVID19.
 
“Investing in climate smart agriculture is imperative.”
 
The discussion was moderated by Global Citizen Chief Policy Mick Sheldrick and welcomed stellar speakers: Gilbert Houngbo, President, IFAD and former Prime Minister of Togo; Aksel Jakobsen, State Secretary of International Development for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Sabrina Elba , Actress, Model, and IFAD Goodwill Ambassador.
 
 
“It is undeniable that farmers are the backbone to any civilisation. They are the men and women who work tirelessly to put food on our tables and are guardians of natural resources, and will be significant in reduction of GHG emissions. Where would we be without farmers?” Mick Sheldrick, Global Citizen Chief Policy 
 
The session highlighted the importance of innovative agricultural solutions to address hunger and malnutrition, ambitious initiatives that have emerged in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the importance of public-private partnership and collaboration to tackle global food insecurity.
 
ABOUT THE BLOOMBERG GREEN FESTIVAL
 
A five-day festival featuring a cross section of visionaries from business, design, culture, food, technology, science and entertainment, built to foster solutions-oriented conversations.
 
Watch the session right here.
 
#BloombergGreen
 
 

Ban Ki-moon Joins the Annual Meeting of the Asia Development Bank

Asia Development Bank: Developing Asia Beyond the Pandemic

On September 18, 2020, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon participated in the Asia Development Bank’s Annual Meeting together with ADB President Masa Asakawa, Indonesia’s Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and Bank of Japan’s Haruhiko Kuroda.

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended developing Asia’s economic expansion, threatening to halt its progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Governments in Asia and the Pacific responded decisively to the crisis but now must get their economies on track while grappling with the constraints of the “new normal.” Join a distinguished panel as they explore policies for crisis response, safe reopening, inclusive recovery, and future resilience.

Watch the full event here.

“Now more than ever before, the world needs a new generation of thinkers and doers. We need thinkers who can appreciate the scale of the challenges before us. And we need doers who will step forward to act.” Ban Ki-moon

Read Ban Ki-moon’s Keynote Speech:

It is my great honor to address the 53rd Annual Meeting of the ADB Board of Governors.

It is truly regrettable that the Annual Meeting could not be held in Incheon, Korea, because of COVID-19. Thanks to advanced technologies, however, we are virtually meeting today to discuss a wide range of important agenda without any technical problems. I would like to hereby extend my special thanks to all staff who have made this meeting possible.

In this light, I believe this virtual setting manifests the theme of today’s meeting: Innovation, Inclusiveness and Integration.

Indeed, we are living through a period of converging crises and pressing challenges that have upended the international order and ushered in a new period of global unpredictability and risk.

COVID-19 has completely shifted the way we live; the climate crisis continues to deepen; economic powers are escalating tension; and technological advancement is pressuring countries around the world to constantly innovate.

Even before the pandemic took hold of our lives, populist skepticism and anger have fueled many of the seismic geopolitical changes we have witnessed in the recent years.

Now, these same dynamics are hindering our unified response to COVID-19 and climate change. Instead of cooperation, we have seen a failure in listening to scientists and experts, and a resounding lack of trust in mainstream media, political leaders and institutions.

Against this backdrop, we must understand that in our increasingly interconnected world, global challenges inherently require global solutions.

Today, I will highlight the global challenges of COVID-19 and climate change, which simply cannot be solved without international cooperation, and the UN’s role as the cornerstone of solidarity, partnership and recommitment to multilateralism.

I will also elucidate the essential role of education in solving the challenges of today, as well as cultivating the leaders of tomorrow.

  • COVID-19

First, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our common reality in unprecedented ways. There have been over 30 million total cases of COVID-19 and nearly 1 million global deaths. The UN estimates that COVID-19 has cost 400 million jobs in the 2nd quarter of 2020 alone.

And behind these staggering numbers, COVID-19 has amplified existing inequities in health care, labor, housing, food, gender equality, and other key areas.

This pandemic has underlined the great need for global leadership and a strong multilateral response. Unfortunately, we are lacking both at such a critical time.

Indeed, in the last six months, we have witnessed a major failure in global leadership in response to COVID-19 as nationalism has been placed at the heart of great power politics.

It is no longer enough to simply go back to business as usual; we must build back better, as well as greener.

Governments need to elevate political commitment and public financing to health. A three-pronged approach is necessary to holistically integrate public health preparedness, universal health coverage, and healthy societies. Policy-makers must also scale-up investment in public health services to help prevent future pandemics. Protecting and improving the health of all people everywhere should become an all-government, all hands-on-deck strategy led by heads of state.

To holistically respond to COVID-19 and other major global challenges, such as our deepening climate crisis, we must expand multilateral cooperation, and in particular, partnership based on innovation, inclusiveness and integration.

We must prepare for future pandemics as we combat this one, share information and best practices, and ultimately restore international cooperation and trust. We are all in this together, and only as strong as our weakest health system.

  • Climate Change

Second, climate change is fueling conflict, migration, and public health risks around the world. These dynamics will continue to worsen in the absence of strong multilateral action and renewed political will.

The global disruptions we have witnessed this year as a result of COVID-19 may be a preview of the chaos soon to be unleashed from cascading climate tipping points.  We have no time to spare.

Bringing the entire world together to achieve the Paris Climate Change Agreement in 2015 is one of my proudest personal achievements as UN Secretary-General. Signed by 197 countries, 4 countries more than the 193 UN Member States, the historic Paris Accord offers us a clear game plan to confront the serious threats to our planet. It sets viable targets to impede rising temperatures, constrict greenhouse gas emissions, and spur climate-resilient development and green growth.

Our pandemic recovery will offer a unique and critical opportunity to forge meaningful progress to meet the aspirations agreed under the Paris Agreement. It provides a collaborative blueprint to ensure the future we want. But we must all work in partnership to realize this future.

In addition, I would like to draw your attention to the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies designated by the UN. The adoption of this resolution took less than three months after President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea first had proposed it at the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23rd last year. The accelerated adoption process demonstrates the international community’s high interest and desire for clean air and blue skies. Air pollution and climate change are two sides of the same coin. This year marked the first year of International Day of Clean Air for blue skies, and we need to harness the political momentum to tackle air pollution as a gateway to address climate change.

Taking this opportunity, I extend my deep appreciation to the ADB member states for their strong support and participation in this important campaign.

Another important area in addressing the climate change is to strengthen our capacity of adaptation. Adaptation is as important as mitigation in fighting back and prevent in advance for consequences caused by climate change. As you may know, in my capacity as Co-chairman of the Global Center on Adaptation, I launched, together with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh, a South East Asia regional center on Adaptation in Dhaka, Bangladesh on September 8th, 2020. I hope ADB work closely with the regional center. The first was established in Beijing in 2019, another regional office for Africa was also established this week on September 16th, with the African Development Bank hosting the Global Center for Adaptation Africa. .

No single country can confront climate change or achieve sustainable development on their own. We need international solutions. In this regard, we must seize this generational opportunity to build back better from COVID-19, help catalyze climate action, and steer our planet and humanity towards a more sustainable and prosperous future. Through our collective actions, we can turn crisis into opportunity and walk towards a better future.

  • Education

Last but not least, education will play a vital role in restoring multilateralism to address COVID-19 and the climate crisis.

Now more than ever before, the world needs a new generation of thinkers and doers. We need thinkers who can appreciate the scale of the challenges before us. And we need doers who will step forward to act.

We have seen so clearly with the recent turn of events and the challenges with COVID-19 that technology, when harnessed appropriately, can be an indispensable resource with immeasurable impacts—far greater than what the current system has shown to be able to provide, as we see today and in this Annual Meeting. So how do we begin to uncover, understand, and utilize the full potential of a technology-enriched learning experience?

I believe that it begins with an understanding that education technology is not simply online learning or even a particular software or program that merges technology with education.

Rather, it is about creating an ecosystem that ensures local adaptability of the program at hand; requires a well-functioning infrastructure; develops sufficient and competent human capital; and is housed within a visionary, committed, and supportive policy environment.

To witness true innovation, we must be prepared for a disruption to the traditional concept of education as we know it, and a reshaping of the existing learning structures in place.

While this may sound a bit drastic, this simply means that we must proactively explore new ways of learning and create a culture of embracing change—change that can break down barriers of inflexibility, inaccessibility, inefficiency, and inequity.

I believe that partnerships flourish when all actors are united in their understanding of purpose and priority.

The leadership role of the government is, therefore, critical in setting an overarching vision and strategy for innovation that is aligned to the country’s larger national education and development priorities.

In keeping with this agenda, local actors (including teachers, schools, businesses, NGOs, and universities) can and should take a more proactive role in leading the change—appropriately adapted to their specific context.

Through such locally-driven initiatives, relevant partnerships will be forged; genuine collaboration will be fostered; and valuable feedback of local experience and knowledge will be channeled back into the system.

  • Recovery through multilateralism

In conclusion, in order to protect global public goods, such as the environment, and effectively address COVID-19, we need to renew our commitment to multilateralism.

Education, cooperation, partnership, and global governance, including the strong leadership of the UN and the WHO, are needed to underpin our fight against climate change and COVID-19, as well as its secondary economic and societal aftershocks.

We must remember that in our globalized world, we are only as strong as the weakest link. COVID-19 and climate change do not respect borders, but they do magnify inequities.

COVID-19 has illuminated our interconnected nature. Multilateralism is the only effective way forward.

As such, international cooperation, partnership, and global governance—fortified by solidarity and climate action—must light our way to a more healthy, sustainable, and resilient future for our children and grandchildren.

I thank you for your leadership and action to this end. Let us work together to make this world better for all!

Watch the full event here.

Ban Ki-moon Delivers Speech on Anti – Corruption at Forum Alpbach

On September 1, 2020 – Ban Ki-moon Centre Co-chair, Ban Ki-moon participated in a discussion panel hosted by  IACA – International Anti-Corruption Agency during the European Forum Alpbach. 

The highlighted session at the Forum also welcomed Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva; (WRITTEN STATEMENT);  Angel Gurria Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris; Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate, Banker, Social Entrepreneur, Dhaka.

The stellar panel focused on why and how corruption happens and various solutions to tackle corruption worldwide. Co-chair Ban Ki-moon highlighted the need for leadership during these times: “The current pandemic spotlights the vast inequalities that still persist in our societies. World leaders must take responsibility in creating inclusive healthcare systems and social policies that leave no one behind. “

He also urged that to build a sustainable global economy, we need to use the 2030 Agenda as a roadmap: “We are entering the Decade of Action and effective anti-corruption measures are essential for the achievement of all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.” 

Ending his speech, Ban Ki-moon, once again underlined the importance of multilateralism and the role of global citizens in fighting corruption: “Successfully addressing corruption requires synergies of politicians, businesses, media, NGOs and civil society through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach.”

Moderator Dean Thomas Stelzer read out the statement of Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights as she couldn’t join the call due to technical reasons. Her speech shed light on the money lost through bribes and corruption and said, “The money stolen through corruption every year is enough to feed the world’s hungry 80 times over.”

Angel Gurria Secretary-General of OECD defined corruption as a threat to inclusive growth that widens inequalities and undermines the values of democracy. He urged the viewers, “As corruption is a moving target we must keep running, we must keep joining forces”

During his passionate intervention, Prof. Muhammed Yunus clearly ascribed the root of corruption to the theory of economy and the focus on profit maximization. In his words: Free market economy as the root of corruption. Human beings are driven by self-interest. We have to look at the root of why humans act corruptly. We need to reexamine the definition of a human being to find anti-corruption solutions. Only human beings, not institutions can change the system.” 

Following a short Q&A session, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon closed the session by stating: “How to educate people as global citizens is a baseline on how to make our societies free of corruption.”

 

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler Speaks at European Forum Alpbach – ‘Women in Crises’

Part of the European Forum Alpbach, this week, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler joined fellow speakers Dr. Katharina Mader (Dept. of Economics at the University of Vienna) and Dr. Mireille Ngosso (medical doctor and social democratic politician in Vienna) for a virtual discussion on the role of women during crises.

The session was hosted by the Initiative Group Alpbach Vienna (IG Vienna) and moderated by Elisabeth Lechner (President of IG Alpbach Vienna). The speakers focused on women’s role at the forefront of the Covid-19 crisis and the structures of inequality that the pandemic has brought to light.

Dr. Mader shared results from her recent study with more than two thousand participants on the impact of the pandemic on the distribution of unpaid work in Austrian households (childcare and housework). The survey paints a picture of urban, middle-class women affected by the crisis; mothers in two-parent households were found to be responsible for the same amount of unpaid care work as those in single-parent households. These initial findings illustrate that, at least in this cross-section of Austrian society, the pandemic has not altered gender-specific norms in terms of unpaid and housework.

Dr. Ngosso started her intervention by sharing her personal experience growing up in crisis – fleeing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as a child and later living in a women’s shelter for over a year with her mother in Vienna. She emphasized that the current situation for African women who have lost their livelihoods is evidently much worse than the experience of Austrian women.

She also mentioned that 88% of care workers in Austria are women. However, pointing out that women have had to double burdened themselves to take care of their homes and children while holding jobs. She also shared that 85% of those now unemployed in Austria due to the pandemic are women. Additionally, she said that working hours should be made more compatible so that women can have the opportunity to work full-time jobs and not be forced into part-time work. Dr. Ngosso finished with a call to action, emphasizing that it is the responsibility of political leaders to tackle gender inequality and unequal pay especially when comes to social services jobs.

Lastly, Dr. Ngosso was asked to share a bit about her work in organizing the Black Lives Matter demonstration held in Vienna. She shared her surprise to see 50.000 people join the event, showing a strong sign of solidarity.

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler’s keynote speech focused on three aspects of women in crises: women leaders during the pandemic, women’s situation in the pandemic, and the opportunities that can come from this challenging time.

She shared that only 7% of humanity is currently governed by women even though half of the world population is women. She then noted that, in the current crisis, women leaders are outperforming their colleagues in responding to the pandemic by utilizing a more collaborative approach. She added that, while this observation is profound, it does not mean that women are innately better leaders than men.

Froehler continued by sharing the various challenges that women and girls are met with globally from child marriage, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), unequal pay, domestic violence, sexual violence, violence as a weapon of war, a lack of access to education, lack of property rights, and more. In addition, women are now facing additional negative and disproportional impacts from the pandemic.

Lastly, Froehler highlighted the opportunities that exist, emphasizing that, “Women are indeed the solution to much of this.” Women should be empowered to use an entrepreneurial mindset, to tackle climate change, to be active participants in peace-making processes, and to take on the diverse challenges we are confronted with globally.

At the end of the session, concluding that women are suffering more from the current pandemic than men, the floor was opened up for questions. One question that came up often was about the role of men in this process. Dr. Ngosso responded that “Men and women have to work together, side-by-side for change.” Dr. Mader called on men to be, “Active fathers – you are setting an example.” Lastly, Froehler added, “Men are half of humanity and we must work in collaboration to achieve what we want to achieve.”

Learn more about Forum Alpbach here. 

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote speech at the GCF Private Investment for Climate Conference

As the Chair of the Council of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote speech at the Green Climate Fund Private Investment for Climate Conference that kicked-off on October 7th and lasted until October 9th in Incheon, the Republic of Korea.

If we delay action today, we’ll have to pay much a dearer price tomorrow. Let us show the world that we can work and thrive together to make this planet better and sustainable. — Ban Ki-moon

The GCF Private Investment for Climate Conference (“GPIC”) is a global marketplace and ecosystem where leading private sector actors including project sponsors, institutional investors, financial institutions, climate leaders, and the public sector come together to accelerate climate action in developing countries. This year’s GCF Private Investment for Climate Conference, focusing exclusively on the private sector gathered more than 600 participants from over 100 countries.  On the second day of the GPIC, under the theme of Mobilizing Institutional Investors and the Global Finance Sector for Climate, Co-chair Ban said, 
The private sector manages more than $210 trillion in assets but invests less than 5% in climate finance. The climate crisis is too big, too serious, too urgent to use the resources of public institutions alone. 
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is the world’s largest dedicated fund helping developing countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and enhance their ability to respond to climate change. GCF has a crucial role in serving the Paris Agreement, supporting the goal of keeping average global temperature rise well below 2°C. We do so by channelling climate finance to developing countries and mobilizing private sector capital at scale. GCF’s decision to hold this second annual private sector-focused forum reflects the Fund’s recognition that investments by businesses and other financial actors needs to be greatly increased if the world is to effectively deal with warming global temperatures. The conference offers a unique opportunity to chart ways for institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and insurance companies, to tap GCF finances to expand emerging markets of low-emission and climate resilient growth. GCF’s Private Investment for Climate Conference helped further drive the momentum of increasing private sector engagement in tackling the climate challenge which was a marked feature of the UN summit. Source: Green Climate Fund © GGGI

Ban Ki-moon Calls for Urgent Action on Climate Adaptation together with Bill Gates and Kristalina Georgieva

On September 11th, as a leader of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) along with Bill Gates, the Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon called on global leaders and experts from both government and business sectors to take urgent action to innovate and advance climate adaptation solutions. The commission launched its report on “Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience” in Beijing, China.
“Climate change doesn’t respect borders: it’s an international problem that can only be solved with co-operation and collaboration, across borders and worldwide,” – Ban Ki-moon
Ban also said,
“It is becoming increasingly clear that in many parts of the world, our climate has already changed, and we need to adapt with it. Mitigation and adaptation go hand-in-hand as two equally important building blocks of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Adaptation is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do to boost economic growth and create a climate resilient world.”
According to the Global Commission on Adaptation report, investing $1.8 trillion globally from 2020 to 2030 in five areas of climate adaptation could yield $7.1 trillion in net benefits. This would be the only means left to avert climate apartheid, where the rich escape the effects and the poor do not, but this investment is far smaller than the eventual cost of doing nothing.
“People everywhere are experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change. Those most impacted are the millions of smallholder farmers and their families in developing countries, who are struggling with poverty and hunger due to low crop yields caused by extreme changes in temperature and rainfall. With greater support for innovation, we can unlock new opportunities and spur change across the global ecosystem. Adaptation is an urgent issue that needs support from governments and businesses to ensure those most at risk have the opportunity to thrive,” said Gates.
Ban expressed his concern about “lack of vision of political leaders,” criticizing that “they are much more interested in getting elected and re-elected, and climate issues are not in their priorities.”
“It’s true that many governments have been paying more to invest in mitigation, trying to reduce greenhouse emissions. But it’s equally important that we do more, if not more, equally on adaptation. If we invest one dollar today on adaptation, particularly on infrastructure resilient to climate, we can expect at least four dollars return,” said Ban.
On the margins of the GCA launch event, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon had a bilateral meeting with Minister Li Ganjie of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China. Minister Li said that China has implemented a national strategy to actively respond to climate change.
“As we try our best to carry out mitigation actions, we have constantly strengthened our adaptation ability, such as issuing national strategies and making them as long-term plan. Infrastructure construction and other projects like forestry, agriculture, marine areas will take climate change into account,” he said.
Ban said,
“Mitigation and adaptation go hand-in-hand as two equally important building blocks of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Adaptation is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do to boost economic growth and create a climate resilient world.”
Read more about the GCA report here, and watch Ban Ki-moon’s interview on CGTN. Sources www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-energy-202/2019/09/10/the-energy-202-bill-gates-ban-ki-moon-and-other-leaders-propose-ways-to-adapt-to-a-warming-planet/5d766d4e602ff171a5d734d0/?noredirect=on www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/10/climate-crisis-world-readiness-effects-gravely-insufficient-report www.gca.org/global-commission-on-adaptation/adapt-our-world?fbclid=IwAR060tzLjCBH2Lzla-1rfCeFL9C1r9BLQB7J2khTH2Qil1jxqzzOcb5em6U http://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201909/11/WS5d7889a3a310cf3e3556afd3.html © CGTN