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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

30 November 2022


Excellency Mr. Hans-Ulrich Südbeck, Deputy Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Kingdom of Thailand and permanent observer to ESCAP,

Ibu Bernadia Tjandradewi, Secretary General of UCLG-ASPAC,

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning to you all.

I would like to thank the Government of Germany for co-organizing this partnership event and for its leadership in confronting the climate crisis by supporting projects and initiatives across the world through the International Climate Initiative (IKI).

We are pleased to join the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ1) in partnership with International Climate Initiative (IKI) for the UrbanACT project, supporting integrated climate action to realize low-carbon and resilient cities in our region.

The key outcome document of COP27, the Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan, recognizes the need for a 43 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 from the 2019 level.

In this regard, it underscores the urgent need for multilevel and cooperative actions of non-Party stakeholders, including cities.   

This is more critical for region, with its rapid urbanization, to realize the 1.5 degree goal. The region accounts for more than half of global GHG emissions, over two-thirds of which come from cities.

Currently, 2.3 billion people, or 54 per cent of the world's urban population, live in Asian and Pacific cities, which will be home to 3.5 billion people in mid-cenutry, the target milestone for achieving carbon neutrality.

This urban population growth will continue to drive demand for energy and resources.

Meanwhile, a significant percentage of the urban population lives in low-lying coastal communities or other informal settlements vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

If this continued urbanization is not managed thoughtfully— not only will the cities of our region make us fail the carbon neutrality goal, thereby exceeding the 1.5°C threshold, but the livelihoods of our urban populations will be at greater risk from climate-induced disasters. 

The UrbanACT is an urgent opportunity, as providing guidance to cities to develop climate actions and build resilience now can determine the future development trajectories for our region for decades to come.

But cities will need support and an enabling environment to support implementation.

This will include enhanced integration among national, subnational and local authorities and engagement with financial institutions as well as international organizations. 

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

ESCAP is committed to continuing work with member States and local authorities to accelerate climate actions including the initiative at the cities, as well as urban level.  

We are grateful to the Government of Germany for its support and look forward to partnering with GIZ, UCLG-ASPAC as well as all partners on the implementation of the UrbanACT initiative.

Thank you very much.

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