Credit: Natural England

From UKGov/ From: Cabinet Office and The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP

COP26 President Alok Sharma speech at the Climate and Development Ministerial

The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP

Opening speech

Friends, a very warm welcome to the COP26 Climate and Development Ministerial.

I am so pleased that so many of you are with us. At what is one of the most important events we are hosting in the run up to COP26.

We know the problems we are addressing today are not new.

We have heard time and again that a lack of solutions on finance, adaptation and debt are limiting climate action in the world’s most vulnerable communities.

But it is absolutely vital that we now break the inertia and find some solutions.

It’s important That the international community collectively delivers.

And that is why we are here today.

Between us here today, we hold the solutions to the problems we are looking to address.

If we are determined to work together to resolve them, we will.

Communities most vulnerable to climate change understand the challenges better than anyone.

And are leaders when it comes to climate action.

I have been travelling over the past few weeks and seen this in my visits to Kenya, Costa Rica, Nepal, India, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Gabon.

Financial institutions and developed countries have the tools to respond to the needs of those most vulnerable to climate change.

Indeed, we have a responsibility to do so.

Because we know that communities that have done the least to cause the climate crisis are suffering the most.

So, I hope that you have come armed with practical steps that you will take in the run up to COP26, to solve these challenges. And help to ensure the green recovery from Covid-19 is truly global.

We all need to be totally focused on setting out these practical steps.

Let me give you an example .

Voluntary Carbon Markets can increase finance flows and I am pleased the UK Government is supporting the Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Initiative to help ensure they deliver the greatest benefits for climate, for people and nature.

We also know there is a tangible ask from developing countries for a rebalancing of climate finance flows between mitigation and adaptation.

We cannot continue with a situation where adaptation is the poor cousin of mitigation.

You will have heard the UN Secretary General calling for a 50:50 split. All donor countries must consider what they can do to materially increase adaptation finance flows .

Alongside the Chair’s Summary of this meeting, we will publish a Pathway, setting out how and when we will follow-up on each of the actions we agree today.

I am grateful to all countries and institutions who joined the roundtables ahead of today’s Ministerial.

And to the academics and representatives from civil society representatives who have joined the workshops and made a critical difference in the shaping of this discussion.

The findings of these pre-meetings will inform our discussions.

Of course, many of the issues on the agenda today also relate to our negotiations in Glasgow.

To make these a success, we need to get conversations going ahead of COP26 and look for shared solutions.

So to kick us off today, let me offer some examples of how the COP26 Presidency will get discussions moving in the formal process.

To make progress on finance, we will bring together technical experts in April, and Heads of Delegations in May.

This will happen ahead of Ministers meeting at the Petersberg Dialogue. Followed by a meeting of Ministers later in the year hosted by the Presidency.

On the Global Goal for Adaptation, the UK COP26 Presidency will host three events, with the first of those in May

And we will hold three consultations before November on the Santiago Network for Loss & Damage. With the first next month.

Our very clear aim is to get the network operational by COP26.

I hope that you and your teams will join us for these events so the negotiations in Glasgow has the best chance of success.

When it comes to today I would like us to speak freely and frankly and offer practical solutions to move things forward.

We can make real progress if we do this.

We will get the discussions going very shortly, but first, let’s hear from some of the people who matter most in these conversations.

We know that women, indigenous peoples and younger generations are often impacted the most by climate change. And that they also hold some of the most effective solutions.

So it is my absolute pleasure to introduce young leader, and CEO of The Mongolian Sustainable Finance Association, Nomindari Enkhtur.

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