Closing Remarks of Titon Mitra
Photo by: Francis Dejon
15 August 2016 Senate of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines
Titon Mitra, Country Director at UNDP Philippines
Hon. Senator Legarda, Secretary Guzman, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am pleased to have the opportunity to say a few words to draw this High-Level Policy Forum of the CVF to a close.
I will be brief as much of what I would have wanted to say about the achievements of the CVF to date and the key issues the Forum will need to confront going forward have already been covered during the course of this morning and in the preceding events over the last few days.
Let me begin however by congratulating the Philippines on the critical role it has played since leading the CVF since early 2015.
This has been a period marked by extraordinary collective achievements by the CVF – many of which as I have said have already been mentioned.
I would like to however underline a few of these: the expansion of members – drawing in another 23 countries; the launch of the V20 Group of Ministers of finance of member states; the Global Partnership for Preparedness that the V20 launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in May; most notably of course driving relentlessly the campaign to strengthen the level of ambition of COP21 and enshrining a 1.5 degree Celsius limit in Article 2 of the Paris Agreement; and now instituting a South – South Center.
Collectively the CVF has put in place a commendable platform to ensure that every action that is possible can and must be taken to ensure we do not bequeath to our children a miserable world where we have crossed the point of no return on global warming.
Having just reached one degree of warming, we are reminded that the threat of extreme weather and its dire potential consequences is very much today’s reality.
There is of course no question that vulnerable countries – simply by virtue of their location, geography, size and stage of economic and social development will continue to bear the brunt of extreme – climate change induced – weather. Indeed, the unfortunate truism today is that those who have the least will bear most of the burden.
COP21 while historically remarkable is really a small step on a difficult road ahead for reducing climate vulnerability. Successful implementation of promise made will require much more action on the ground.
For the CVF going forward the challenge will be to help demonstrate how low – carbon development is a perfectly viable path to prosperity for developing countries and to show how the international community, as a whole, will benefit from diffusion of highly sustainable solutions and incentives.
Day by day the urgency increases to make the case for low – carbon development, to identify gaps in access to low carbon development options, to inspire countries to achieve low- carbon pathways and to identify Policy initiatives on a global scale
To this end, I hope the long term visioning workshop and the high level retreat outcomes have helped to define a ‘road-map’ for the key action, advocacies and measures that will need to be taken over the next 18 months.
And in this regard, allow me to extend the congratulations of the United Nations to the government of Ethiopia, and to Hon. Shiferaw Telekemariam, as the first African Chair of this important Forum.
The baton has been handed over so to speak and I think I can say on behalf of everyone here that we have the utmost confidence that under Ethiopian leadership the CVF will continue to work to help lead the world away from irreversible global warming and CVF member countries onto a path of enhanced resilience, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
UNDP is pleased to be a partner and to have supported the CVF, and its sister initiative, the V20, as Secretariat, in addition to our national assistance to its member states on climate change.
UNDP is committed to helping you make the most of international, regional and domestic opportunities on climate and development, while protecting your fiscal fitness and integrity, and avoiding over-indebtedness
UNDP has a strong track record of supporting countries across our more than $2 billion portfolio of climate change projects. For example, we have supported strengthening resilience to climate change impacts through National Adaptation Plans and adaptation action. We have supported the member states in developing contributions to climate change mitigation under the UNFCCC.
With the commitment by developed countries to mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 to support developing countries in their climate actions, and with increasing activity in the Green Climate Fund, we expect this aspect of our work to expand considerably. It is also perhaps the fastest expanding area of development opportunities for CVF member states.
The United Nations has also long been supportive of initiatives that leverage expertise and experiences through South-South cooperation. And a number of CVF countries are undertaking remarkable climate initiatives: from pioneering payment systems funding reforestation in Costa Rica, to innovative household-level financing of solar power benefitting millions of homes in Bangladesh, or the People’s Survival Fund financing instrument that works to ensure greater climate protection down to the local level here in the Philippines.
With the creation of the new CVF South-South Centre we now have an institution to share knowledge, innovations, lessons and challenges from formulating and implementing such initiatives.
I would like to thank Germany – the Federal Ministry of Environment and GIZ – for supporting the South-South work.
Allow me to close by wishing Ethiopia the very best for its presidency and thanking the Philippines for its excellent leadership over the last 18 months.
Lastly and by no means least, I would also like to thank and acknowledge Senator Legarda, who, not only has been an impeccable host but is a true Global Champion for Resilience.
Thank you very much.