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Statement by Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter at the High-Level SDG Action Event Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Agenda

Statement by Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter at the High-Level SDG Action Event Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Agenda

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Mister/Madame Chair,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and gentlemen,

2015 was a surprising and momentous year. Amidst serious conflicts, the international community succeeded twice in taking landmark decisions for our future and that of the planet.

The 2030 Agenda, with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, is the most ambitious catalogue of goals that the UN has ever agreed on.

And with the Paris Agreement, the international community agreed to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality by the second half of the century.

More recent events have shown us that the positive spirit generated by the historic decisions of 2015 continues:

Last year, the world witnessed unprecedented momentum in international climate action at COP22 in Marrakesh. With the rapid entry into force of the Paris Agreement, the international community has sent a clear message of determination to industry and society around the world: The global transformation to a greenhouse gas-neutral and climateresilient world is now underway and is irreversible.

And this year, 44 countries have volunteered to present their national approaches to implementing the 2030 Agenda at the HLPF in July. This is truly remarkable.

Both the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement call for a structural shift from the status quo to sustainable lifestyles and to economic activity that is less harmful to the climate and environment. The SDGs and the results of Paris are spurring us to change our ways, from a still widespread “business-as-usual” mode to true modernisation. Their respective goals are strongly interlinked and their simultaneous implementation will have significant synergy effects.

The current work on the IPCC special reports on 1.5 degree warming is a good example of the strong interlinkages between the 2030 Agenda and climate change policies. Discussions on how to cross-link sectors and how to take account of all dimensions of sustainable development on the pathway to the 1.5 degree climate goal are much more prominent now.

We want to use our current G20 Presidency to demonstrate that ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement fosters innovation and the modernisation of our economies. We aim to demonstrate that taking decisive action to protect the climate is not a barrier to economic growth, but an efficient modernisation program for our economies with positive impacts on sustainable growth, employment, competitiveness, social inclusiveness and political stability.

23.03.2017 | Speech Sustainable Development | New York (USA)