Welcome Address

by Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development at the Meeting of the NDC Partnership's "Core Consultative Group" on 10 September 2016 in Rabat

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Minister El Haite,
Executive Secretary Espinosa,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I welcome you most cordially to the very first meeting of the NDC Partnership's Core Consultative Group here in Rabat. Thank you very much, Minister El Haite, for your splendid hospitality.

There is nowhere better than Morocco to discuss the future of the Partnership on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). For Morocco is a trailblazer in the fight against climate change. Madam Minister, your country is investing vast amounts in the development of renewable energy sources. You have made a tremendous start in Ouarzazate by building the world's largest thermo-solar power station. And Morocco is the first Arab country to present specific targets for the decarbonisation of its economy.

Two months ago at the 7th Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin, Federal Ministers Gerd Müller and Barbara Hendricks announced on behalf of the German government that we want to move closer together and establish an NDC Partnership with partners from industrialised and developing countries and emerging economies.

Today, we are laying the foundations for the launch of the Partnership, which is to take place at the 22nd COP in Morocco in early November. Today we can pave the way for a broad alliance that will implement quickly and efficiently the nationally determined contributions.

The NDCs for short, are at the very heart of the Paris Climate Agreement. For us, they shall serve as the working basis for our efforts to combat climate change. Together with the 2030 Agenda, they will guide and shape our cooperation with partners in developing countries from now on.

Finding a way to implement the NDCs is a matter of top priority for us. That is why the industrialised nations – as the countries most responsible for causing climate change – made a commitment to mobilize an annual 100 billion US dollars, starting in 2020. However, in order to ensure that the NDCs are implemented quickly, we will need more than just adequate funding. Capacity building, sound organisation and coordination, and an exchange of experience between the actors involved will be just as important. That is why we are here today.

It is the aim of our partnership to combine the Paris climate targets with the sustainable development goals laid down in the 2030 Agenda – thereby forging an alliance that will devise long-term plans for climate action and development. And we want to support member countries in their efforts to implement their NDCs – with capacity building as well as with providing better access to funding.

Let us use today's meeting also to discuss the status of the NDC Partnership on the basis of some concrete examples.

You all know that the countries in this Partnership are not starting from scratch, and that we already collaborate closely in many ways. In some cases, we do this globally – for example through our work on the Low Emission Development Strategies Global Partnership in the context of the Global Network on adaptation planning or within the Facility for nationally appropriate mitigation actions.

Key for the success of the NDC Partnership will be concrete projects in the member countries – projects which demonstrate good cooperation between partners.

An example of such a project is the Noor Solar Power Station in Ouarzazate: it was built using Morocco's own resources as well as funds provided by the private sector, France, the EU, various international funds and Germany. With this power station and by declaring that you want 52 per cent of electricity in Morocco to be generated from renewable energy sources by 2030, you, Madam Minister, have come to represent a new way of thinking. With the Noor Solar Power Station, you have laid the foundation stone and sent a signal of your intention!

If we look at Viet Nam, we can see that there, too, major challenges can only be addressed by working together. For example, Viet Nam's Agriculture Ministry is receiving support from Germany and Australia, amongst other countries, for its programme to protect the Vietnamese coastal region. The aim of the programme is to help 17 million people living in the Mekong Delta, the region's "rice granary", to respond more effectively to the challenges posed by rising sea levels. We all know that if we want to achieve the goals set in Paris, we will need many more such ambitious projects. This is exactly what the NDC Partnership is trying to do. And, to quote Aristoteles, we are striving to ensure that the whole is more than the sum of its parts.

Now let's also talk about how we can get this Partnership, its Support Unit and the Core Consultative Group off to a good start. Therefore, we need a light and implementation-oriented institutional structure. We want to strengthen existing initiatives for NDC implementation and not to duplicate them. We want to build on those initiatives, and to use all existing channels of financial support for implementing the NDCs – be they bilateral, regional or multilateral at country level.

The important consideration here is that the national government defines its priorities, and the partners working with that government align their activities accordingly. Together with development banks, the private sector and technical cooperation organisations, we can open up investment corridors, minimise risks, mobilise finance and create the conditions needed to realise the NDCs. We can notch up one positive outcome already: your presence here today at this meeting is evidence of your considerable interest in the NDC Partnership. Our desire here is to work together to keep the political momentum and take the historic opportunity for a structural transformation of our economics and societies – and this to provide liveable future – within the terms of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.

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