United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Brazil and Nicaragua

Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
VII Meeting
Climate Change and disaster risk reduction
January 6th-10th
Statement by Brazil and Nicarágua

Climate change is "one of the greatest challenges of our time" and demands "urgent and ambitious action", as recognized by the Rio+20 Conference. When discussing climate change in the context of the SDG framework, we must bare in mind the existing consensus to negotiate within the boundaries of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The effectiveness of our work on climate change should therefore be assessed by its capacity to strengthen the ongoing processes under the UNFCCC. I particular, this group should support the implementation of existing commitments under the Convention, encouraging Members States to reach an ambitious agreement under the UNFCCC by 2015.

Climate change is universal in scope, but differentiated in terms of responsibilities. The principle of CBDR is the cornerstone of the UNFCCC and provides for the fair distribution of international efforts to cope with climate change and to allow countries to adapt to its impacts.

An integrated approach to climate change must take into account three inter-related aspects: i) the different historical responsibilities of developed and developing countries regarding the causes of climate change; ii) the greater vulnerability of developing countries to the effects of climate change, due to financial constraints, lack of infrastructure, technologies and capacity; iii) the social and economic challenges faced by developing countries, especially the overarching priority of poverty eradication.

Despite their limited historical responsibility, developing countries face the highest costs of impacts brought about by climate change. Disenfranchised groups, such as women, children, minorities, poor people, living in countries most in need, in particular Least Developed Countries and Small Islands Developing States suffer the most.

Climate change must be approached in an integrated and effective fashion, balancing aspects of mitigation and adaptation and focusing on the implementation of unfulfilled commitments under UNFCCC, in terms of financing, technology transfer and capacity building. We should aim for the full and effective operationalization of the Green Climate Fund, the Adaptation Committee, the Technology Mechanism and the Loss and Damage Mechanism. Progress in these areas would build confidence on the ongoing climate negotiations and help to engage States parties to the Convention in more ambitious agreements by 2015.

Members States should in principle avoid adopting indicators on CO2 emission reduction in the context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, thereby preserving the UNFCCC specific negotiating framework and process, and preserving commitments agreed to under the Convention that have greater effectiveness and its own legal basis. In other words, SDG targets on CO2 emission could duplicate and interfere with ongoing negotiations under UNFCCC, undermining a more
ambitious and effective agreement by 2015.

Addressing adaptation builds resilience and reduces disaster risks. We are convinced that disaster risk reduction should be understood as a matter of development. The more we work for eradicating poverty, improving housing conditions, increasing access to health services and creating decent jobs for all, the more we will succeed in building resilient communities and cities, addressing the root causes of vulnerability.

Furthermore, as agreed in the Rio+20 Conference, we should also encourage donors and the international community to increase support to disaster risk reduction efforts in developing countries through technical assistance, technology transfer, capacity building and training programs, increasing resilience and providing a smoother transition between relief, recovery and development.

Developing countries are contributing greatly towards global efforts on climate change, as well as disaster risk reduction, and we will keep doing so while pursuing economic and social development, and poverty eradication as overarching policy priorities. We are convinced that in sustainable development and poverty eradication lies our ability to take action on climate change.

Ultimately, our success or failure as a global community depends on our common political will today to stand by agreements made and to fulfill commitments long undertaken under the Convention.

Such political will can only be based on genuine trust, good faith, and mutual consent. We must move forward as a global community to tackle climate change and adapt to its adverse effects on the basis of equity and in accordance with our common but differentiated responsibilities under the Convention.

We owe no less to ourselves as Member States, to the youth, to generations yet to be born, and to our Mother Earth.