Ambassador Whittingham attended the virtual opening of the French – Central American talks on climate change, organized by the Government of France, the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the countries of the System of Central American Integration (SICA).
Speaking on behalf of the COP26 Presidency, Ambassador Nick Whittingham said:
The UK will host COP26 in Glasgow in November this year. As COP26 President, we will accelerate progress towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement through increased ambition in Adaptation, Mitigation and Finance.
The UK made significant announcements under each of these pillars at the Climate Ambition Summit in December 2020, and we are encouraging other Parties to do the same. We were pleased to see so many SICA member Heads of State speak at the Climate Ambition Summit, and to see the rising climate ambition across the region.
We also want to accelerate transitions in the global economy in energy, transport, and finance. And we want to drive action on adaptation & build resilience, and arrest and reverse biodiversity loss.
On negotiations, we want to agree a comprehensive, ambitious and balanced negotiated outcome that accelerates climate action and powers the process forward, including by resolving the outstanding elements of the ‘Paris rulebook’.
In the run up to COP26, further progress is needed on NDCs and LTSs in 2021, as shown in the NDC Synthesis Report. Many major emitters have not yet submitted new plans, and many of the NDCs from major economies have fallen short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Continued submission of updated NDCs from smaller emitters helps to maintain the moral pressure on larger economies to increase their ambition and commitments to emission reduction. Net zero commitments also need to be backed up by long-term strategies (LTSs) submitted to the UNFCCC (as per the Paris Agreement).
Central America is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Through our COP26 Presidency, we want to ensure that the most vulnerable and those on the front line of the impacts of climate change are prioritised, listened to, and their concerns including access to climate finance, adaptation and loss and damage addressed.
The Covid-19 pandemic has made the poorest countries in the world more vulnerable still. However, in the context of Covid-19, there is an unprecedented opportunity to reboot global economies in a manner that builds more sustainable, inclusive and resilient societies.
The benefits of tackling climate change are numerous and fundamentally in the interests of us all; amongst them: cleaner air, healthier communities, sustainable economic growth, energy security and a safer, more stable climate. However, we can only achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement if we all work together.