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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

24 May 2022


Excellency Madam. Hyoeun Jenny Kim, Ambassador and Deputy Minister of Climate Change of the Republic of Korea,

Mr. Pham Van Tan, Deputy Director General, Department of Climate Change, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Viet Nam,

Distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen,

I warmly welcome you all to the Side Event on Sharing Ambitions and the Way Forward: Carbon Neutrality Goals and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific.

The Glasgow Climate Pact adopted last year by COP26 secured near-global net-zero to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

The Asia-Pacific region accounts for more than half of global greenhouse gas emissions; hence, to keep net-zero in sight, we need immediate and concerted action.

I believe we have made a good start where 39 Asian and Pacific member States have already pledged to net-zero carbon emissions by or around mid-century.

However, the commitments of countries must be realized through the speedy development of long-term, low-carbon development strategies and plans.

Climate change needs to be mainstreamed into legal frameworks and development plans. Divesting from coal and fossil fuels and phasing out fossil fuel subsidies will unlock finance for investment into growing renewable energy.

The application of carbon pricing instruments can create the liquidity required to drive economic activity up and emissions down.

If we do not make significant emission reductions in the coming years, we will lose our last chance to contain the global temperature rise within 1.5°C.

Hence, we are here today to share our ambitions, reaffirm our commitments and begin transitioning to carbon neutrality.

We should learn from each other by sharing our thoughts, experiences and expertise. We should also act rapidly, facilitating the collaboration of all stakeholders.

The Forum on Carbon Neutrality Goals of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea held last November is a good example of this aspect. It brought policymakers, experts and other stakeholders together to foster collective thinking about how to move towards net zero-carbon emissions.

I believe that these efforts should be rapidly expanded in and beyond the Asia-Pacific region, and particularly among the countries of South-East Asia, who are severely impacted by the climate crisis and will contribute to a rapid transition towards a resilient and net-zero emission world.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen

I assure you that ESCAP is fully committed to supporting member States in achieving this goal. An ESCAP-wide carbon neutrality partnership would greatly contribute to regional and global low-carbon development.

We will continue to make efforts to listen to the needs of countries, facilitate dialogues between countries, and promote the collaboration of all stakeholders.  

I hope the event can build momentum in moving towards carbon neutrality.

Thank you all for your participation, and I hope you have fruitful discussions today.

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