Members of Nizami Ganjavi International Center join call towards cop26

Members of Nizami Ganjavi International Center join call towards cop26

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Oct. 23

Trend:

Over 50 members of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center from whom 30 former president and Prime Ministers joined a call towards cop 26: Recognizing the global climate crisis and the need for governments worldwide to take immediate decisive action to reduce the impact of climate change.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put our resilience in question and exposed our vulnerabilities. Climate-induced disasters have already started unveiling all over the world: floods, droughts, heatwaves, extreme storms, and mega-fires.

The recently launched 6th Report of the IPCC[1] reflects alarming data, stressing the need for international efforts to limit the global temperature well below 1.5 degrees Celsius, a target that would, according to IPCC scientists, be exceeded by 2040 if no action is taken. We acknowledge fossil fuels as the main culprit behind the increase in CO2 emissions, the driver of a destabilized climate system. Sustainable reduction of CO2 emissions is needed to prevent worsening climate disasters.

Backed by research, part of this implementation is the conversion of (global) energy systems to net zero emissions by adopting several technologies (solar, wind, battery storage, hydrogen, electric vehicles, and more) supporting an affordable energy transformation. The pathway to zero net emissions will also be supported by the transition to a circular economy and the implementation of nature-based solutions.

Even the most ambitious CO2 emissions mitigation strategy cannot stop the adverse impacts of anthropogenic climate change. The risks for economic damages and loss of life due to the increased frequency and intensity of climate-related extreme weather effects will continue. Adaptation will be vital for protecting citizens lives and livelihoods. Adaptation measures can contribute to mitigation strategies. Forest restoration and protection of coastal wetlands, for example, can protect landscapes, prevent floods, storm surges and rising sea levels, and promote resilient food production in the face of global warming.

The 6th IPCC Report[2] also shows that climate change impacts will exacerbate the food crisis, while almost 40 percent of the global population is deprived of a nutritious diet. During the United Nations Nutrition for Growth Summit (N4G) to be held on the 1st of December 2021, participants will discuss a wide range of problems related to malnutrition and present possible solutions to the international community. Governments should try to establish principles for governments and other stakeholders on how the food system could support the SDGs and mobilize them to take significant action towards Agenda 2030.

The Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC highlights that climate change is also contributing to the loss of biodiversity, which stresses ecosystem functions and the food systems on which we all depend. At the 15th Conference on Biological Diversity (CBD) (COP 15) in October in Kunming, China, the Parties to the Convention will consider the achievement and transition of CBD's Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. Further, they need to decide on a global biodiversity framework, including capacity building and resource mobilization.

At the end of October, world leaders will meet at the G20 in Rome.[3] Global financial reforms are needed to invest in a fairer distribution of world income aiming at better life quality in terms of healthcare, education, nutrition, and other basic needs, and more resources in low-income countries. Moreover, the sustainable finance is needs to be further developed and implemented, towards improving the flow of money towards sustainable activities by enabling investors to re-orient investments towards more sustainable technologies and businesses.

The COP26 UN Climate Change Conference that will take place in November in Glasgow is a very important moment for the world to come together to face the challenge of climate change and master it. Countries should be urged to step up their ambitions to cut emissions and invest in climate adaptation. Illustratively, some basic steps of Transformation could include the termination of any new energy production based on fossil fuels, the electrification of transport, improved energy efficiency of buildings, the transition to circular economy production and consumption processes, and the adoption of nature-based solutions for the deposition of more carbon dioxide in forests and soils. Recent commitments to achieve net zero GHG emissions by around mid-century in Europe[4], China[5], and other major economies can provide the needed momentum for deep transformations of economies and societies. The Global South, including low-income countries (LIC) and emerging markets (EM), needs urgent assistance to resolve the immediate effects of COVID-19 and to reconstruct their economies and societies sustainably and inclusively[6].

The United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,[7] including its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets, adopted on 25 September 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, aimed to eradicate poverty in all its forms and to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions - economic, social, and environmental - by 2030 world-wide, in a balanced and integrated manner, ensuring that no one is left behind. The Paris Agreement[8] aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century below 1.5°C.

The UN SDSN[9] Six Transformations (6T) to achieve the SDGs[10] identify priority investments and regulatory challenges and call for actions by well-defined parts of government working with business and civil society. Transformations should be operationalized in a systemic framework, within the structures of government while respecting the strong interdependencies across the 17 SDGs. The 6Ts are Education, Gender and Inequality, Health, Wellbeing, and Demography, Energy Decarbonization and Sustainable Industry, Sustainable Food, Land, Water, and Oceans, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Digital Revolution for Sustainable Development.

Scientific research has provided enough data and tools for the development of the interdisciplinary and systemic solution pathways, for combating this aggravating situation and prevent further deterioration. It is time to use all extensive data, knowledge and technologies, provided by experts in various fields and to implement an action plan to be adopted and reinforced by all societies. Solution pathways should include, net-zero CO2 emissions technologies already in hand or within reach, circular economy, nature-based solutions, climate adaptation investments, sustainable finance, and policy reforms. Keeping the political and ethical challenges in mind, governments need to act fast towards a sustainable world to ensure the survival of the current and future generations.

Signed:

Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of Latvia 1999-2007, Co-Chair NGIC

Ismail Serageldin, Co-Chair NGIC, Vice-President of the World Bank 1992-2000, Emeritus Librarian of Alexandria

Abdulaziz Altwaijri, former Director General ISESCO

Rashid Alimov, Secretary-General Shanghai Cooperation Organization 2016-2019

Rosalia Arteago Serrano, President of Ecuador 1997

Ana Birchall, deputy Prime Minister of Romania 2018-2019

Herman De Croo, Minister of State of Belgium, Honorary Speaker of the House

Mirko Cvetkovic, Prime Minister of Serbia 2008-2012

Maria Fernanda Espinosa, 73rd President of the UN General Assembly, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador 2017-2018

Jan Fisher, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic 2009-2010

Amb. Susan Elliott, Amb, CEO and President National Committee on American Foreign Policy

Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League 1987-2015, Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York city

Chiril Gaburici, Prime Minister of Moldova 2015

Tarja Halonen, President of Finland 2000-2012

Ivo Josipovic, President of Croatia 2010-2015

Aleksandr Kwasniewski, President of Poland 1995-2005

Jadranka Kosor, Prime Minister of Croatia 2009-2011

Mats Karlsson, Vice President of the World Bank 1999-2002

Kerry Kennedy, President Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, President of Croatia 2015-2020

Zlatko Lagumdzija, Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina 2001-2002, deputy Prime Minister

Tzipi Livni, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel 2006-2009

Igor Luksic, Prime Minister of Montenegro 2010-2012, Minister of Foreign Affairs 2012-2016

Amb. Antonio Zanardi Landi, former Diplomatic Adviser to the Italian President, Ambassador Military Sovereign Order of Malta to Vatican

Rexhep Meidani, President of Albania 1997-2002

Moussa Mara, Prime Minister of Mali 2014-2015

Peter Medgyessy, Prime Minister of Hungary 2002-2004

Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta 2013-2020

Rovshan Muradov, Secretary-General of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center

Bujar Nishani, President of Albania 2012-2017

Djoomart Otorbayev, Prime Minister Kyrgyzstan 2014-2015

Rosen Plevneliev, President of Bulgaria 2012-2017

Jose Ramos-Horta, President of East Timor 2007-2008, 2008-2012, Prime Minister 2006-2007, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 1996

Petre Roman, Prime Minister of Romania 1989-1991

Petar Stoyanov, President of Bulgaria 1997-2002

Laimdota Straujuma, Prime Minister of Latvia 2014-2016

Eka Tkelashvili, deputy Prime Minister of Georgia 2010-2012

Raimonds Vejonis, President of Latvia 2015-2019

Filip Vujanovic, President of Montenegro 2003-2018

Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine 2005-2010

Kateryna Yushchenko, First Lady of Ukraine 2005-2010

Yashar Yakish, 39th Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey

Valdis Zatlers, President of Latvia 2007-2011

Amb. Francis M. O’Donnel, life Member Institute of International and European Affairs, Ireland

Prof. Dr. Phoebe Koundouri, Director Sustainable Development Unit, Director EIT Climate KIC Hub Greece

[1] IPCC, 2021: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth

Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S.

L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M. I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J. B.

R. Matthews, T. K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu and B. Zhou (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press.

[2] IPCC, 2021: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth

Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S.

L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M. I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J. B.

R. Matthews, T. K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu and B. Zhou (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press.

[3] G20, Rome Summit 2021, https://www.g20.org/rome-summit.html

[4] European Commission, A European Green Deal - Striving to be the first climate-neutral continent, https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en

[5] Warsaw Institute, 9 October 2020 Author: Paweł Paszak, The Chinese Vision of the Green Deal, https://warsawinstitute.org/chinese-vision-green-deal/

[6] Lancet COVID-19 Commission Statement on the occasion of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736(20)31927-9.pdf

[7] https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld

[8] https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/frameworks/parisagreement

[9] United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network: https://www.unsdsn.org/

[10] Sachs, J. D., Schmidt-Traub, G., Mazzucato, M., Messner, D., Nakicenovic, N., & Rockstrom, J. (2019). Six transformations to achieve the sustainable development goals. Nature Sustainability, 2(9), 805-814.

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