Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU General Statement – United Nations 2nd Committee: Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind

New York, 26/11/2020 - 00:59, UNIQUE ID: 201125_57
Statements on behalf of the EU

25 November 2020, New York - General Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States delivered by Ms. Helge Elisabeth Zeitler, Counsellor, European Delegation to the European Union, at the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Second Committee Agenda Item 19 (d): Adoption of Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind

Mr. Chair,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the EU and its MS.

The Candidate Countries  the Republic of North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, align themselves with this statement.

The EU and its Member States are pleased to join today consensus of the resolution “Protection of the global climate for present and future generations of humankind“, and we would like to thank the facilitator from Australia and all delegations for their engagement.

The adoption of this resolution by consensus – as in previous years - sends a strong and important signal of joint ambition for the challenging work ahead on road to CoP 26, just as we are about to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Paris agreement.

We welcome the clear language in OP 2 that calls for a climate and environment-responsive approach to recovery strategies. Indeed, only if recovery strategies and the policy and investment decisions adopted now promote, rather than undermine the objectives of the Paris Agreement, can we truly build back better and create and sustain long term socio economic prosperity.

There is no choice to be made between addressing socio economic impacts of the pandemic and addressing climate change. We must do both. We must seize the opportunity we have now to invest sustainably and to create jobs in areas like renewable energy or ecosystem restoration that help the economic recovery and sustain livelihoods while supporting climate and environmental objectives.   

Climate and biodiversity are two interlinked agendas that are mutually dependent and cannot be dealt with in isolation from each other. We therefore regret that it was not possible to reach agreement on including related language on the importance of nature based solutions in the new paragraphs. This does not reflect the awareness of the interlinkages demonstrated in many statements during High Level Week in September and reflected in the increasing interest and investment in nature-based solutions across the globe.

In conclusion - The last months have seen encouraging signals with new announcements from several G20 members that they will purse the goal of achieving carbon neutrality as close to 2050 as possible.  We urge all other major emitters to follow suit.  On the way to CoP 26 in Glasgow, the submission of new, more ambitious nationally determined contributions and of long-term strategies towards climate neutrality, based on best available science as assessed by the IPCC, is essential, together with climate finance pledges for the period between 2020 and 2025 and ambitious adaptation plans. We need to move from words to action. The EU is committed to continue to lead global climate ambition.

 

* The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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