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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


(NEW YORK, JANUARY 10/ 2014)
Mr. Co-Chair,
I would like to thank you for convening this seventh session of the Open Working Group meeting on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which deals with the climate change and disaster risk reduction.
We appreciate the issue briefs prepared by the Technical Support Team and we are also grateful for the contribution made by the distinguished Panelists.
I would like also to associate myself with the statements delivered by the Permanent Representatives of Bolivia and Benin, on behalf of the G77 and China, and LDCs, respectively.
Mr. Co-Chair,
We believe that addressing the challenges of climate change and disaster risk reduction is one of the most critical necessities for addressing the challenges of poverty and making progress in our sustainable development agenda beyond 2015. At the 2012 Rio+20 Summit, our political leaders have underscored that combating climate change requires urgent and ambitious action to protect global environment for present and future generations of humankind. There is a clear international consensus on this. It would have been tragic if there was none.
The fragility of our ecosystem is not something that could happen in the future .It is already here with us making the lives of billions across the world difficult. We are deeply concerned by the vulnerability of developing countries, in particular Africa to the adverse impacts of climate change. In this regard, we emphasize that adaptation to climate change and mitigation of its effects represents an immediate and urgent global priority.
Mr. Co-Chair,
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recent emission gap report indicates continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system. The urgent and intensifying risks of climate change threaten to reverse the global community’s achievements towards development to date and undermine our future gains. In Ethiopia we are already acutely aware of the risks of inaction. Droughts and floods occur with increasing frequency and variability, damaging our growth, reducing our food security and making our communities more vulnerable. Climate change is a development issue.
Climate change must therefore be addressed in the post-2015 framework to ensure SDG’s ‘climate proof.’ This requires a commitment to keeping global warming below 2 degrees. It entails targets for pro-poor low carbon development, for sustainable and universal energy access for all, for climate resilient agriculture, for disaster risk reduction and commitments to help scale up public finance towards the promised $100 billion for adaptation and mitigation in poor countries by 2020. We must also agree a strong target to reduce the number of people vulnerable to climate change and reduce the number of lives lost from climate-related weather events. In this regards, we recognize the historical responsibilities of industrialized countries to take the
lead in emissions reduction, and provide the necessary resources and technology transfer for developing countries to transition to a low carbon economy. We also stress the urgency of reaching a legally binding agreement by 2015.
Ethiopia is leading by example with our Climate Resilient Green Economy Vision to build a middle-income climate resilient green economy by 2025 with zero net carbon growth. This is laid out in our Growth and Transformation Plan and will help us achieve economic growth in a way that will also reduce our vulnerability to climate change and reduce our Greenhouse Gas Emissions. It is important that these CRGE actions are tailored to the local context and developed in participatory, multi-sectorialta, pro-poor and gender-sensitive way.
Mr. Co-Chair,
According to the United Nations office for Disaster Risk Reduction, since the first Rio Summit in 1992 disaster associated with natural hazards have affected 4.4 billion people, caused 2 trillion dollars of damage and killed 1.3 million people. Over the next 20 years, disaster risk and disaster losses are expected to increase as a result of the impact of climate change on the frequency and severity of extreme weather events. The magnitude of losses over the past 20 years, the likely impact on poverty reduction efforts and the projected rising losses over the next 20 years present a strong case for the inclusion of disaster resilience in a post 2015 development frame work. The impact extends beyond immediate life and economic losses. It is now well understood that disaster has an enduring impact on poverty and development outcome.
In our view, climate change is multi-dimensional. Disaster risk reduction is also a cross-cutting issue that is intricately tied to different elements of sustainable
development. As a result, to address climate change and build resilience to disaster and climate impacts, a multi-stakeholder, multi-sector approach is needed.
In conclusion, specific attention is required to climate change and disasters risk reduction in framing sustainable development goals particularly, enhancing the quality, resilience and protection of the environment; promotion of sustainable exploitation, use and management of natural resources, combating desertification and land degradation, mitigate drought and promote sustainable management of land and oceanic spaces. This will enable the international community to commit to an inclusive, equitable, risk aware and comprehensive approach to sustainable development for generations to come.
I Thank You!