Distinguished participants, Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to extend my congratulations to the World Climate Foundation for organising the World Climate Forum Asia 2020.
As member States are preparing their post-COVID19 recovery strategies, policies must now be aligned with environmental and climate objectives as in the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Allow me to highlight three policy proposals for your consideration and further deliberation in this Forum.
First, build and invest in climate compatible and sustainable infrastructure. There is a clear case to create new job opportunities and sources of growth by scaling-up investment in green economy and climate resilience.
Increasingly, countries are making efforts to align fiscal stimulus packages with the climate action to ensure a green recovery. Time is up now for governments to initiate more environment-friendly policy options to reduce CO2 emissions, along with sustainable financing options.
Second, ensure the polluter pays principle. Carbon emission markets are to a large extend segmented at the international level. We need the development of an efficient and fair carbon markets, which has not yet gained necessary traction in the country and the region levels in our region.
Only a selected group of countries have shown leadership in developing carbon markets such as the Republic of Korea, China and Japan. While several emerging countries are teaming up with regional and international partners in initiating policies to accelerate climate actions, there is urgent call to establish a robust normative regional platform in Asia and the Pacific.
Third, eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, and subsidies in polluting and carbon-intensive industries. Governments need to take concrete actions to achieve the much-needed transition to net-zero carbon, and to a carbon negative economy.
With member States plans a green recovery in the post-COVID-19 pandemic, we must take this opportunity to end fossil-fuel subsidies and transition away from dirty coal.
I am confident that these policy proposals will support decision-makers to free up additional financial resources for investing in strengthening the healthcare system, preparing job-rich inclusive economic growth and supporting a greener environment for all in Asia and the Pacific.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Along with UNFCCC and UNEP, UN ESCAP is organising every year the Asia-Pacific Climate Week to advance regional climate action.
ESCAP stands ready to collaborate and leverage the World Climate Forum Asia and other regional fora to learn from each other’s best practices, knowledge and experiences of policymakers.
I am fully committed to encourage stronger regional partnerships in climate action and sustainable development goals in Asia and the Pacific.
Thank you for your attention. I wish you a very successful Forum.