Distinguished Ministers of Finance and Environment, guests, colleagues, partners.
Ladies and gentlemen.
The Paris agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Sound Management of Chemicals targets - all this will not be achieved by the business-as-usual and approach. And what we do need really is transformation, and innovation and speed. And that is what we also hear from Member States, from youth, from citizens. We are also seeing—as alluded to earlier—the hottest summers across the globe. We also know for example, from the World Meteorological Organization, that 4.5 billion people have been affected by disasters from 1998 to 2017. And 96 per cent of these disasters are acutely climate-related.
What this means is that we are actually risking wasting the investments and development gains that most of the countries have made. And it is up to us to take corrective action, actually working together to make a difference.
So how do we do it? We heard from Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed earlier through video, about the Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit which will happen in New York about a month from now. And there are a lot of indigenous innovations that are underway on mitigation and adaptation. But the fact remains we are expected to raise ambition and action. So we look forward to hearing from Member States on what is working and how we can work together to scale up.
The second, is that we really need to support instruments such as the Green Climate Fund. UNEP does important work in keeping the environment under review through reports such as the Emissions Gap Report, the Global Environment Outlook Report and others, but we also need financing to actually support actions if we are serious about delivering. So we see Green Climate Fund as a key partner, to work with our mandate and a platform that provides for developing and developed countries opportunities to work together and bringing to the table, the voices of all. But also we see and we believe in the Green Climate Fund’s role in bringing all of us together. We heard earlier this morning about being most efficient with resources, because that is what taxpayers are asking for. So we look at the Green Climate Fund as a platform to catalyze these efficiencies.
So in conclusion I would say, that we are definitely committed to increasing our speed. That we definitely need to act now and with results so we do not waste the investments that so many people and Member States have made in the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris agreement and all the critical climate milestones we have before us this year.