Speech for EU-Zambia Climate Change Seminar
28 September 2016, Lusaka
H.E. ALESSANDRO MARIANI
AMBASSADOR OF THE EUROPEAN UNION TO ZAMBIA AND COMESA
PS National Planning and Administration, MoNDP
Coordinator of Climate Change Directorate David Kaluba
Chief Environment Officer Richard Lungu
Dear Colleagues, Ambassador of the European Union Member States resident in Zambia
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Senior Staff from Government of the Republic of Zambia
Representatives of civil society and business community
Representatives of the Media
It is an honour and a privilege to welcome all of you today to this seminar jointly organised with the Member States of the European Union and the Government of Zambia in support of climate action.
This time last year, the European Union and our partners all around the world, including Zambia, were preparing for the COP21, the Paris Climate Conference. Our respective leaders were all extremely committed to build support for an ambitious deal that would have effectively addressed one of the greatest challenges of our time, climate change.
Well we collectively succeeded. We all agreed on the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal – the Paris Agreement.
Today, 9 months after Paris (also known as the "Conference of Decisions"), it is high time to take stock on progress made with signing and ratifying the Paris Agreement and implementing the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. It is also time to analyse together how the European Union, its Member States and Zambia can continue and strengthen their partnership on climate change. This is a subject of mutual interest and relevance right ahead of CoP 22 in Marrakech, the "Conference of Action".
In order to achieve our aim in keeping the global temperature rise below 2°C, every country needs to contribute.
The successful Paris outcome was the result of hard work over several years. We should all take pride in what was achieved in Paris, but we should not spend too long congratulating ourselves. It is now time to put our words in action and ensure the Paris Agreement is fully implemented.
A crucial first step towards full implementation is signature and ratification by all. In that respect, I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the Government of Zambia for having recently signed the Paris Agreement. H.E. the President of the Republic of Zambia signed it in New York during the recent UNGA.
The Paris Agreement will enter into force when at least 55 countries, accounting for at least 55% of global emissions, ratify it. We are getting close to that point. The strength of the Agreement lies in its universal nature – for the first time almost every country in the world has committed to playing its part in tackling climate change.
However, ratification would be only one further step forward. It is in the European Union's own interest to encourage partner countries in the early and effective implementation of their NDCs.
The Paris Agreement recognises that some countries will need help to meet their commitments. There are provisions on climate finance, with a reaffirmed commitment to mobilising €100bn per year until 2025 as well as new measures to address adaptation needs including technology development and transfer as well as capacity development needs.
Climate or environment departments alone will not be able to deliver the INDCs. All government departments need to be involved and actively contribute, while the commitments on climate change will have to be factored into all sectoral policy planning. Government bodies in charge of planning and budgeting will have a central role in driving the transformation. Line ministries such as transport, energy, housing and urban planning, agriculture and industry all need to be involved.
Doing this for the first time is not easy. But it gets easier over time. Once structures are put in place within governments to develop climate policy, the benefits of climate action become clearer and easier to argue. This is the key lesson of the European experience.
We also know that it is not just up to governments to take action. That's why the Paris decision also recognises the critical role of private sector, cities and other organisations in the transition to a low-carbon world.
We are all well aware that this is already happening in Zambia. For this reasons, we have invited some private sector companies from European countries and Zambia to this Seminar. In a special session dedicated to renewable energy initiatives in Zambia they will showcase later today how private sector through technology and skills transfer can effectively contribute to climate change mitigation and adaption.
Thank you, Zikomo Kwambiri