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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

13 July 2023


Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure and privilege to join the 30th Anniversary celebration of the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle and address one of the most pressing issues of our time: climate change.

This is a global challenge that requires concerted efforts from nations around the world to combat its devastating effects. Specifically, today I want to emphasize the importance of translating the global agenda into decisive urban action in the context of the IMT-GT.

The IMT-GT is a dynamic region that has experienced rapid economic growth and urbanization in recent decades. However, this growth has come at a cost to our environment.

Rising greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation and loss of biodiversity threaten the very foundations of our prosperity and well-being.

Moreover, climate change is not a distant problem. Its impacts are already being felt in our cities, communities, and lives.

On the global stage, countries must come together to tackle climate change through forceful international agreements and commitments. The Paris Agreement, for example, provides a framework for countries to limit global warming and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

It is crucial that all countries, including those in the IMT-GT, fulfill their obligations under this agreement and strive for even greater ambition.

Cities are responsible for a two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions, but they also have the power to become centers of innovation and sustainability.

In the context of the IMT-GT, it is imperative that our cities take the lead in adopting climate-friendly policies and practices. This includes, for example, investing in renewable energy, promoting energy efficiency and implementing sustainable transportation systems.

By doing so, we can reduce emissions, improve air quality and enhance the resilience of our cities in the face of climate change.

Furthermore, urban action must also take into account the social and economic dimensions of climate change. The transition to a low-carbon economy can create new opportunities for job creation, innovation and economic growth.

We must ensure that these benefits reach all segments of society, particularly the vulnerable communities that are most affected by climate change.

To achieve these goals, collaboration and knowledge-sharing are crucial. The IMT-GT countries should exchange best practices, share technological advancements and support each other in implementing sound climate solutions. This can be facilitated through regional initiatives, research partnerships and capacity-building programmes.

ESCAP is pleased to partner with the IMT-GT in the context of the newly launched Urban-Act project, supported by the Government of Germany’s International Climate Initiative.

Through this new partnership with IMT-GT, we will unlock climate financing for cities and support inter-municipal cooperation for low-carbon and climate resilient urban development.

Since the climate does not respect our man-made boundaries, such cooperation is critical. Cities need to work together across administrative lines to achieve true impact.

The IMT-GT region, with its vibrant economies and growing cities, has a unique opportunity to lead the way in this transition.

Together, we can build a sustainable future for our cities, our people and our planet.

Thank you.

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