Secretary-General Guterres calls on international community to take resolute action
Climate action and sustainable development are at the heart of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly next week. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has invited the international community to the Climate Action Summit and the Sustainable Action Summit from 23 to 25 September 2019. The aim of both summits is for countries to commit to greater ambition in their climate and development policies. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze and Federal Development Minister Gerd Müller will accompany Chancellor Angela Merkel to New York and present new initiatives for achieving the climate targets of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze commented: "In New York, Germany will present the decisions taken by the climate cabinet. They introduce binding obligations into German climate policy, and they are a fresh start. I hope that we will thus be able to generate momentum for climate action at international level as well. It is in Germany’s interest to spearhead the transformation towards climate-friendly and sustainable economic activities. The German economy will profit, and new, secure jobs will be created. The Paris Agreement and the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda point the way."
Federal Development Minister Gerd Müller added: "Climate change has long since become a matter of survival for humanity. Especially for people in developing countries that bear least responsibility for this situation. We need to give people prospects for life at the local level and invest in the protection of rain forests, the global transformation of energy systems and climate-neutral fuels. The decisions by the climate cabinet show that the German government is serious about climate action. Taking the lead also means investing in developing countries and emerging economies. China, India, Brazil, Africa: these places will be decisive for the success of global climate action."
The UN summits week in New York is taking place at a time when public pressure for more ambitious climate and sustainable development policies has reached a new high. This is also due to the fact that the impacts of climate change are becoming more noticeable for everyone. The heads of state and government of the UN member states will meet with the aim of raising the level of ambition across the globe with new initiatives.
The climate action plans published by some countries to date put the world on course for a global warming of 3 to 4 degrees instead of less than 2 degrees. UN Secretary-General Guterres is therefore urging the international community to undertake greater efforts. All countries should present new and more effective measures by 2020, in order to reach the Paris climate targets.
Greater global efforts are necessary for sustainable development, too. Despite the progress made so far, current estimates indicate that not all of the 17 SDGs will be achieved by 2030. The international community must act swiftly and decisively to put us back on track. It is not only advancing climate change that is cause for concern, but also trends in the areas of waste, biodiversity and inequality. The German government is therefore advocating international action programmes for the SDGs that lag farthest behind.