Your Excellency Han Jeoung Ae, Minister of Environment,
Mr. Park Namchoon, Mayor of Incheon Metropolitan City,
Professor Seoung Hwan Suh, President of Yonsei University,
Ladies, and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to join you today at this International Greenhouse Gas Conference. Its title, “Low Emission Development to Achieve Carbon Neutrality and the Sustainable Development Goals”, is most timely.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact every aspect of our lives, including efforts to achieve the transformative Sustainable Development Goals.
Some of the gains already achieved, have regressed. And, climate change and environmental degradation, are further intensifying the challenges of implementation.
The past decade was the hottest on record. Dangerous greenhouse gases are at levels not seen in 3 million years. As the Secretary-General warns us, these are signs that mother nature is not waiting.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Paris Agreement on climate change, continue to lead our actions towards sustainable and low-carbon development.
For a green recovery and carbon neutrality, it is critical to take an integrated approach. One that creates synergies and minimizes trade-offs between the goals.
We have less than a decade to achieve the SDGs by 2030. I am delighted that the Government of the Republic of Korea is launching the Decade of Action to deliver the goals, supported by stakeholders.
The United Nations Secretary-General has called for a Global Coalition for Carbon Neutrality by 2050. Last year, the Republic of Korea announced its commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, and the list of joining countries is growing.
Now we need to move fast to turn pledges into actions.
The Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UN DESA, supports countries in their efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
The United Nations Office for Sustainable Development – which is part of UNDESA – has an important role to play in these efforts. It provides support through knowledge sharing, capacity development, research, and partnership building.
I am pleased to note that UNOSD has succeeded in implementing its mandate, benefiting 172 countries. Today, it is regarded as a hub for innovation in knowledge-sharing for sustainable development.
On behalf of the United Nations, I thank the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea, Yonsei University, and Incheon Metropolitan City, for their continued support for the operationalization of UNOSD.
Over the next decade, UNOSD is expected to continue supporting countries to meet the SDGs, particularly the least developed countries. Providing tailored policy advice and capacity-building opportunities will be an important focus of your work.
Today’s event is an excellent opportunity to discuss practical ways and means to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, including in three important approaches.
First, by taking action to build a global coalition for net-zero emissions by mid-century.
Second, by making this a decade of transformation where all countries should submit new and more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions, for:
- adaptation, and
Third, by translating these commitments into concrete, immediate action.
The UN Secretary-General has also called for:
- putting a price on carbon,
- ending subsidies for fossil fuels, and
- ramping up investments in renewable energy and green infrastructure.
I hope today’s event will lead to a successful hosting of the 2021 Seoul P4G Summit.
Without a doubt, our shared commitment to implementing the 2030 Agenda remains as strong as ever.
I am therefore pleased that the global platform, “Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G)” is working to make the SDGs a reality for all people, everywhere.
I look forward to the outcome of your deliberations.
I thank you.