Ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you to this event of the Global Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions Network, at COP 26.
I wish to express my sincere appreciation to his Excellency, Mr. Bento Albuquerque, Minister of Mines and Energy of Brazil, for his presence here.
I am also grateful to the distinguished participants of Itaipu Binacional Brazil and Paraguay, for their continued support since the founding of the Global Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions Network, in 2018.
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, are our collective response to building a better future. With less than a decade left to achieve the 2030 Agenda, we are at a critical moment.
Many SDGs are not on track.
The COVID-19 pandemic is reversing decades of development gains.
We are way off track to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C to fulfil the promise of the Paris Agreement.
The signs are clear. The warming of the planet continues to accelerate. Greenhouse gas emissions are at record highs. Droughts, floods, forest fires and other extreme weather events, are displacing people as never before, and putting lives and livelihoods at risk.
The negative impacts of climate change are also evident in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, with the loss of biodiversity in many regions.
We must urgently raise ambition and scale up action to achieve the SDGs, and address the climate crisis.
Ensuring universal access to sustainable energy, water and sanitation services – while reducing the environmental footprint – lies at the heart of the sustainable development and climate change agendas.
Integrated approaches to energy and water solutions are crucial, if we are to achieve both goals.
The “Global Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions Network”, launched in 2018, provides an excellent multi-stakeholder platform. It allows for the sharing of best practices and practical experiences, of how a coordinated and integrated approach, to energy and water, can help accelerate sustainable development, everywhere.
Its comprehensive, on-line knowledge platform, is a global hub on integrated water and energy solutions.
The Network also helps mobilise significant action on the ground.
The Energy Compact – presented jointly by Itaipu Binacional, Canal de Isabel II and ASAZGUA, on behalf of the Network, during the United Nations High-level Dialogue on Energy in September – is an outstanding example of leadership action.
I commend the valuable actions and commitments of the members of the Network supporting climate action. And I look forward to strengthening the Network moving forward.
As the UN-Energy secretariat, we at UN DESA will continue to leverage existing capacities of the UN system. We will continue to accelerate action with all other partners, in support of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The challenges are immense. We must significantly raise ambitions. Current efforts need to be dramatically accelerated.
We can only rise to the challenges of the climate crisis by working together. By combining forces, we can prevent climate catastrophe and achieve the SDGs.
I wish you a fruitful meeting.
I thank you.