United Nations Climate Conference (COP 24) today convened a highlevel session
launching eight days of focused events and dialogues on Global Climate Action,
aimed at building a bridge between government delegates and non Party, public
and private stakeholders in the global response to climate change.
The event, which featured United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, COP 24 President
Speakers matched their words with action including ING CEO, Ralph Hamers, who announced a landmark finance collaboration with BBVA, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered and Societe Generale to measure the climate alignment of their lending portfolios, with the aim of steering them in line with the Paris Agreement. Specifically, the banks which have a combined loan book of €2.4 trillion across a range of sectors have signed a commitment letter, pledging to finance change and put their balance sheets to work.
Of this commitment, Mr. Hamers said, “It shows that banks are becoming increasingly ready to take the bold steps needed to play our part in achieving a low carbon economy.”
To support the bridge building effort, First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, announced £200,000 for the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, to encourage collaboration between government, business, and wider society to immediately lower emissions and increase resilience against the impacts of climate change.
In his remarks opening the morning’s session, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres spoke on the central theme of the event, Embracing Inclusive Multilateralism: “Only global answers can solve global problems. Embracing inclusive multilateralism is the way to go, but it needs to adapt to the meet the global challenges we currently face. We now need networked multilateralism.”
First Minister Sturgeon acknowledged the imperative of a just transition, from societies’ present reliance on fossil fuels to a climate neutral future: “We have a moral responsibility to do what we can to prevent and mitigate the effects of global climate change. That’s why we’ve created the Just
Transition Commission to demonstrate that there is nothing to fear and everything to gain from the transition to a low-carbon economy.”
Leading-up to the close of the event, the High-Level Climate Champions, H.E. Minister Inia Seruiratu and Special Envoy Mr. Tomasz Chruszczow, highlighted the central role that global climate action must play in driving enhanced national action.
Minister Inia Seruiratu said, “The message for urgent action has been the message throughout 2018 coming from all stakeholders, across all regions, but most especially from us in vulnerable regions and small island developing states. We will build the vision of tomorrow for a net-zero emissions world and resilient societies.”
Concluding statements, in the spirit of State and non-state collaboration, were made by Parties; namely, European Union, Saint Lucia, Palestine, and Japan.