UN Climate Change and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) have signed a new agreement to strengthen regional climate action, with a focus on meeting the targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.
At a signing ceremony ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bangkok, acting Executive Secretary of ESCAP Mr. Hongjoo Hahm highlighted that climate action must be boosted across the region if the aim of staying well below a 2⁰C of temperature increase is to be a
“Asia and the Pacific account for more than 50 per cent of global emissions, and while many countries in the region have ambitious climate plans, collective efforts under Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), are not nearly enough to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Mr. Hahm.
“Our new partnership with UN Climate Change will help build awareness and strengthen climate change leadership by engaging governments, civil society and business leaders to boost climate action at both regional and national levels,” he added.
Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, said: “I am pleased that our institutions are strengthening the collaboration to address the challenges of climate change. This partnership offers a valuable platform to support efforts by Parties to raising awareness, policy coherence as well as increasing capacities on climate action. The impacts of climate change are not bound by national borders, they have far-reaching effects across countries and regions. A cooperative regional response to the climate challenge is consistent with the transformation required to achieve the goals set out in the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.”
ESCAP’s partnership with UN Climate Change will build on existing initiatives, and identify joint projects that strengthen leadership, enhance capacity, and promote collaboration of public and private sectors to implement country-driven mitigation and adaptation activities.
The agreement aims to ensure policy coherence by aligning Asia-Pacific’s approach to implementing the Paris Agreement and the NDCs with the Regional Roadmap for Implementation of the 2030 Agenda, as well as regional efforts on financing for development.
ESCAP and UN Climate Change have committed to raise awareness through the annual Asia-Pacific Climate Week, and fundraise to support collaborative projects. They will also develop knowledge products and training sessions for countries in the region.
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About the UNFCCC
With 197 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep a global average temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The ultimate objective of all agreements under the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system, in a time frame which allows ecosystems to adapt naturally and enables sustainable development.