The impacts of climate change are intensifying. As the rains intensify, in South Asia, more than 137 million people in India will be put at risk of coastal or inland flooding. Credit:UNDP.

As prepared for delivery.

I am delighted to be here tonight with our partners and programme countries to celebrate together the launch of a new programme to accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement. 

UNDP sees the NDC Support Programme as one of our flag ship programs, through which we hope to help countries make progress towards Agenda 2030. 

As we can see from the spirit here in Bonn, there is an extraordinary sense of commitment and willingness among all parties to make Paris a reality. This is what we need to rapidly ratchet up our ambitions.

According to the latest UNEP Emissions Gap Report, our current commitments do not suffice to hold global temperature rise below 2˚C, or the even safer 1.5˚C. 

Yet the impacts of climate change are intensifying. In South Asia, for example, floods killed 1,200, affected the lives of 40 million people and took 1.8 million children out of school this summer. As the rains intensify, more than 137 million people in India, Bangladesh and China will be put at risk of coastal or inland flooding.

With a growing emission gap on the one hand, and rapidly increasing world population on the other, we urgently need to accelerate action for the Paris Agreement before 2030 while stepping up our commitments to address climate change. 

This is our best insurance policy.

The global economy could lose USD 2.7 Trillion – or more – in financial assets if we do not protect them. And without urgent action to reduce emissions and help communities adapt to climate change, progress on the Sustainable Development Goals cannot be met, nor sustained. 

Therefore, “development” should not be a buzz word in the Paris discourse but the driver for implementing climate actions that are aligned with the SDGs.

NDCs can be an important tool in this endeavor. A study by WRI foundthat the vast majority of INDCs (90%) were aligned with SDG targets. More than 90% of INDCs mention renewable energy and almost as many (86%) include an adaptation component.

UNDP has been working with countries on rolling out both SDG and NDC implementation. 

The NDC Support Programme, which we are launching tonight with the generous support of our partners – the Governments of Germany and Spain, and the European Union – will allow countries to dive deeper into NDC implementation. Countries will be tackling issues such as gender-responsive climate action, integrated governance for a ‘whole-of-society’ approach, transparency, climate finance, and private sector engagement to roll out NDC actions on all levels. 

Many countries will be building on the achievements they already realized under the Low Emission Capacity Building program and EU-INDC project.  For example,

o Morocco has raised USD 39.3M from the Green Climate Fund for a sustainable agriculture National Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) which will benefit women’s livelihoods and advance both adaptation and mitigation 

o Thailand mapped private finance flows for renewable energy to assess how to better stimulate private investment.

o Paraguay’s NDC implementation strategy enables validation of climate actions by civil society actors.  Over 100 climate actions have been validated to date.

o Trinidad and Tobago’s NDC implementation strategy is reforming the local Green Fund as a new NDC funding mechanism.

Lessons from the Spanish Regional Climate Change Programme in Latin America (2008 -2016) will also be brought on board.

Integrating climate and development planning, will require a radically different approach.

It will require us to completely rethink how we run our economies, shape our markets and lead our daily lives. NDCs, aligned with development priorities, offer an opportunity to redesign our development approach that is smarter, more sustainable and more inclusive. In many ways, it can also make us more fit for the challenges of the 21st century, forcing us to leave old ways behind, and embrace new technologies. 

But we cannot do it alone. It requires us to work together across department walls and discipline lines and country borders, pooling our respective skills, resources and creativity. Working with the business and finance communities as a critical partner in this global transition is the next step for making Paris a reality. Once we can demonstrate tangible benefits and an economic rationale, action on climate will scale. But how do we bridge this gap?

With the NDC Support Programme, and its contribution to the NDC Partnership and the global dialogue on the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030, we are taking an important step at UNDP towards bringing together the different strengths that each institution, and each country has to offer. 

Let me thank again our donors for their very generous financial contribution to the Programme and for their active participation in it is design and implementation. And let me also thank you the participating countries who will benefit from this support but who will also tell all of us about the challenges, opportunities and concrete progress in implementing their climate actions. We need all hands on deck and we are ready to go. Cheers to the new NDC Support Programme!

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