IVA-seminariet "Adaptation to climate change" (15 juni 2015) [fr]
Tal på engelska av ambassadör Jacques Lapouge vid IVA-seminariet "Adaptation to climate change" den 15 juni 2015.
"Members of the Swedish Parliament, Ambassadors,
Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends,
A few words to tell you how pleased and privileged I feel to see you all gathered today, in the premises of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, for this High-Level Seminar on adaptation to climate change, ahead of the Paris Climate Conference.
I would like first to thank our partner, the Stockholm Environment Institute, without which this Seminar would not have been possible. Executive Director Johan Kuylenstierna, the very good cooperation we have had with you and your team in preparing this event is much appreciated.
Thank you very much to you, dear Laurence Tubiana, French Ambassador for Climate Change Negotiations and Special Representative of Minister Fabius for COP21, for being with us in Stockholm and for sharing your views about the process, just after this intense UN Climate meeting in Bonn the last two weeks, and although you are certainly today the busiest person on the climate scene. Thanks also dear Anna Lindstedt, Swedish Ambassador for Climate Change. Sweden has always been one of the most ambitious and generous countries in the fight against climate change and it is so important for us to count you among our friends.
168 days – if I am not mistaken - separate us from the opening of the Paris Climate Conference, and, day after day, we can see that there is a growing mobilization to address the challenge. At the level of leaders, from the Pope and the UNSG to the Head of States and Government of the G7, who, last week, established significant milestones on climate funding and supported a global target of minus 40 to 70 pc GHG between 2010 and 2050; but also through the growing involvement of non-state actors, companies, cities, regions, associations, which multiply the initiatives and the commitments. In its role as presidency, France has a particular responsibility to guarantee the transparency and inclusiveness of the negotiations and thus consolidate the mutual trust between the parties, which is so important in these late stages of the process. But also to give a strong political impulse. And I am sure you all have noted that President Hollande as well as minister Fabius, who will chair the COP in December, have put climate change at the very top of their international agenda.
In Sweden, our role as an Embassy is much more modest. Like all the French embassies around the world, our aim is to create a local network of “friends of COP21”, to get the views and suggestions of all the Swedish actors, to understand and help promote their initiatives, both public and private. It is also to organize events such as this one, and to try and reach a large public, in particular the youth. So we are particularly happy to see such a strong audience in IVA today.
It is obviously not my role, here, to touch on the substance of the negotiations. As you know, the objective is to achieve next December a “Paris Alliance” with four components: a universal, legally binding agreement; as ambitious as possible national commitments on mitigation; a strong financial component, which is particularly important for developing countries; and, finally an action agenda compiling all the initiatives of non-governmental stake holders. These four components are complementary and mutually supportive, committing all countries to a transition towards low-carbon economies. And the general feeling is that for each of these pillars, we are on track but we probably need to accelerate further.
Another element of consensus is that adaptation is and will remain an essential component of the discussions leading to the Paris agreement. This is why, with the SEI, we thought it would be interesting to focus our seminar on this issue rather than to have another general exchange on “the road to Paris 2015”. And to deal with its three main components: the place of adaptation in the agreement; the funding of adaptation; and, it is probably a more innovative approach, the role of the private sector in adaptation.
On the first issue, the COP20 in Lima confirmed that adaptation should be fully addressed in the future Paris agreement, on a par with mitigation. It also stated that, if Parties so wished, they might include specific adaptation measures in their national contribution or communicate their needs and efforts through other existing channels.
Regarding the Green Climate Fund, it was decided that funds would be allocated equally to mitigation and adaptation. And that at least 50% of adaptation funding would be assigned to the most vulnerable countries, and in particular the small island states and least developed countries.
But the commitment of private companies and institutions in promoting adaptation to climate change in developed and developing countries, and not only mitigation, is also crucial to deliver a broad “Agenda for Solutions” ahead of Paris Climate 2015.
Because it is clear today that whatever the efforts made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the impacts of climate change are already tangible, be they progressive ones like rising sea levels and ocean acidification or related to sporadic events such as floods and storms.
And, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the costs of adaptation could reach 150 billion USD per year by 2030, and 500 billion USD per year by 2050, if emissions continued to rise at the current rate. IDDRI, the French Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations – which is close to the heart of Laurence Tubiana - recently published a paper which highlights very convincingly that non-adaptation at the national scale would also undoubtedly have transboundary consequences. Adaptation must thus be perceived as a global concern, and there is a strong need for building collectively ways to track adaptation progress at the global scale.
I hope that this seminar will contribute to this ambition and, in conclusion, I would like to thank all the high-profile speakers, panelists and moderators, who represent this plurality of actors dedicated to adaptation, from Sweden, France and third countries. Many thanks in particular to the representatives of UNEP, UNFCCC, the South Center, the Swedish Development Agency, the business sector and the non-state actors.
I wish you an excellent seminar, and I now let the floor to Johan."