Platform #Redesign2020: CAN Executive Director Tasneem Essop’s Intervention

Platform #Redesign2020: Tasneem Essop, Climate Action Network International Executive Director

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Here’s the full transcript:

Ministers, Executive Secretary, colleagues, I am Tasneem Essop, the Executive Director of Climate Action Network International and I am sharing this message on behalf of our Network of 1300 members in over 130 countries, all campaigning on climate change.

CAN strongly supports a just, sustainable  and equitable economic recovery that is socially inclusive, transparent and that addresses the multiple and intersectional crises the world is facing now, namely, the COVID-19 pandemic, poverty, inequality, climate impacts, gender inequality and systemic racism amongst others.

Governments will spend several trillions of dollars on the Recovery. These investments must result in a better and safer world for all.

It should prioritise the support and building of resilience of the poor, the marginalised, the vulnerable, the jobless and those impacted most by these crises.

These investments  must address  the huge national and international inequalities of wealth, as well as support clean, innovative and sustainable industries and practices to overcome the climate crisis.

The investments in the recovery must contribute to keeping global temperatures below 1.5 degrees celsius and in line with the Paris Agreement, in order to prevent devastating climate impacts that serve to further exacerbate other existing crises. This means that we cannot afford to invest in a Business as Usual economy or society.

2019 saw the highest  fossil fuel CO2 emissions ever. The world faces species extinction and ecosystem destruction  on a massive  scale. Freshwater scarcity and food insecurity are at crisis levels. About 4 million people die from air pollution each year. The pandemic has exposed the systemic fragility and inequalities in the world and that undermine and threaten the achievement of the Paris Agreement´s long-term goals, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

It is therefore vital for the economic recovery to be compatible with the Paris Agreement. The IPCC showed there are many possible co-benefits of climate action and sustainable development. Governments should actively plan their recoveries to achieve these co-benefits.

For example, by transforming our energy system away from all fossil fuels, the UN Secretary General recently pointed out, investments in renewable energy, clean transport and energy efficiency as part of the recovery efforts could enable 270 million people globally access to electricity, and create 9 million jobs annually over the next 3 years.

We must shift all land use practices to sustainable ones,  increase the protection of biodiverse ecosystems, and overcome energy poverty in developing countries, in line with a Just Transition for all.

Importantly, the Cost of the recovery must be borne by those who  have been benefiting from the unjust, fossil-fuel based economic system for decades, that is, the wealthy.

Developed countries must act and invest in a clean, sustainable and just transition and, as part of delivering their fair shares, provide upscaled international support to developing countries to do the same.

Finally, economic recovery programs by rich countries need to embrace international solidarity and enable  poorer developing countries to overcome these multiple crises and enter a new phase of sustainable development and that Leaves no-one behind.

Thank you

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