Collective effort is essential to keep climate risks manageable

تم النشر: 11 ديسمبر 2015

*Statement by Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21)

* speaking slot registered with UNFCCC for the high-level segment of COP21, but the statement could not be delivered in person

(Paris, 30 November – 11 December 2015)

Mr President,

Every day, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, with its presence in 189 countries, witnesses the impact of climate change on the people we serve. Our 17 million volunteers are standing on the front line and are witnessing how these rising risks are disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable communities.

Rooted in these communities, Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies are working in partnership with their Federation and the ICRC, to ensure that people and communities have the capacity to respond effectively to the risks – such a response includes anticipating worsening climate risks, reducing or coping with their impact, taking advantage of opportunities, and recovering from disasters that cannot be avoided. But our collective challenge is growing.

As we say in French: “Il faut prendre le taureau par les cornes”. We urgently need to take bold action across sectors and make commensurate investments in both greenhouse gas mitigation and climate resilience, including disaster risk reduction.

Mr President,

We must act together to avoid temperatures rising to a point where risks would become unmanageable, and where more and more people would be unable to gain or sustain a decent living. We call on negotiators to seize this opportunity to avoid such dramatic long-term changes and we ask them to pay particular attention to strengthening the resilience of the most vulnerable groups.

We are committed to doing our part, building on our sustained and trusted presence in communities around the world, including in those communities that are most vulnerable and hardest to reach.

To catalyse these collective efforts the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is launching the “One Billion Coalition for Resilience”. Through this coalition, we aim to engage individuals, households, communities and partners from all sectors, enabling, by 2025, at least one billion people around the world to take active steps towards reducing the risks that affect their lives and their vulnerability in the face of adversity, including climate change. We look forward to working with you to transform the commitment made in Paris into collective effort and concrete results on the ground.

Thank you.