by Ban Ki-moon
Global Programming Conference
August 19, 2019 (Mon); 11:30-11:45
Main Plenary Hall, Convensia Center, Songdo
Mr. Vice President Teuea Toatu, /
Mr. Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown, /
Mr. Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Mohamed Guled, /
Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund Mr. Yannick Glémarec, /
ministers and vice ministers, / distinguished experts and guests, / ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for inviting me to address this distinguished group of leaders and experts / from so many governments and institutions, / and from so many countries and regions of the world.
Most of all, / thank you for allowing me to be a part of the all-important dialogue / concerning the future direction and replenishment of the Green Climate Fund.
I was the United Nations Secretary-General during the time of the creation of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Green Climate Fund, / and I still have a keen interest in the successes of both / because I still believe / without doubt / that our future livelihoods depend on it.
The report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is very clear. We have 10 years to cut carbon emission by half / in order to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius / and to prevent the catastrophic effects of climate change.
Today, / we can already see the sad consequences of 1 degree of global warming—not only on the news channels and front pages—but in our beaches, mountains, farmlands and cities / in the form of extreme weather patterns, / rising sea levels / and changing landscapes.
Even if we were to do everything right starting today, / these climate-related impacts, / which are already prevalent and on its way to becoming the new norm, / will still increase because it takes time to reverse the damages that we, / the inhabitants of planet Earth, / have already put in motion. Just as a huge pot of boiling water takes time to cool, / our planet will require time to cool.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
That is why we cannot procrastinate / or defer to the next generation any longer. We must act now, / and we must act together.
On this backdrop, / I would like to highlight three points today.
First, / the Green Climate Fund, / as the largest multilateral fund dedicated to climate change, / has a key role to play. But for it to do so, / it must be resourced ambitiously, / so it can deliver effectively and urgently.
It is not a mere coincidence / that the Global Green Growth Institute and the Green Climate Fund have been partnering together closely since 2017, / the year in which the two organizations signed a bilateral MOU of cooperation, / as well as the Readiness and Preparatory Support Agreement.
As a result, / more than 20 GGGI Member Countries have nominated GGGI to be their delivery partner for GCF’s Readiness Program, / resulting in $7.5 million secured / and with more than twice that amount on the way.
Second, / mitigation and adaptation need to move together, / and adaptation should also move into the mainstream of policy making and development planning.
The negative effects of climate change will not disappear overnight, / and investing in adaptation is the wise choice to make.
It should not be mistaken / as a sign of giving up hope on mitigation. It is a two-pronged maneuver: / one to simultaneously lessen and reverse the threats to communities, businesses and economies in the longer-term, / and another to protect from climate shocks in the near-term.
This is why the Global Commission on Adaptation—a commission I am currently chairing to accelerate adaptation action—is looking to work more closely with the Green Climate Fund / and to increase adaptation finance, / which has lagged behind mitigation finance.
Lastly, / I have emphasized again and again to leaders of developed countries / to not overlook the most vulnerable countries / and the marginalized groups of the world, / and I would like to do so again.
In a twist of cruel irony, / the poorest and most vulnerable countries—the ones that often have the least capacity to access climate funds / and often tend to be the most exposed or susceptible to climate change—the Small Island Developing States and the natural resource-dependent countries, / they face some of the greatest challenges from climate change, / whether it be loss of land from rising sea levels, / land degradation / or loss of biodiversity.
GCF should be applauded for its pioneering efforts to set ambitious benchmarks for climate finance / and to improve direct access to funds, / including through the Simplified Approvals Process / and a fast-tracking accreditation process for entities already accredited with the Adaptation Fund.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I hope you will remember these three points I have just made.
In order to have GCF continue to play a key role, / in order to foster a successful two-pronged strategy with mitigation and adaptation, / and in order to justly help the poorest and most vulnerable countries, / the ongoing and new collaboration between institutions will be of utmost importance, / and the scaling up of resources and support will be absolutely critical.
More institutions such as the Global Green Growth Institute and the Global Commission on Adaptation / will need to collaborate with GCF, / and governments need to follow in the footsteps of Germany and Norway / and provide scaled-up resources.
Because climate change is not a problem bound to only one country, region or sector, / and green growth and adaptation solutions cannot be implemented by one country, region or sector.
We need to transcend and cross political aisles, national boundaries and sectors / to work together to discover innovative solutions / and pull together to combine all the resources and support.
Either we will all benefit together, / or we will all suffer together. And, in order for all of us to benefit together, / we need to do start now.
If we do this, / I believe this could be perhaps the greatest contribution of our generation / to our future generations.
Thank you for your attention.