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Joint press release issued by:
Logo: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

UN summit week is all about climate and sustainable development

Secretary-General Guterres urges international community to take determined action


Press release of 21.09.2019 |

NEW YORK – Climate action and sustainable development are at the centre of the 74th UN General Assembly coming up next week. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has invited the international community to the Climate Action Summit and the Sustainable Development Summit from 23 to 25 September 2019. At both summits more ambitious commitments for climate and development policy are expected from the member states. German Environment Minister Schulze and German Development Minister Müller will be accompanying Federal Chancellor Merkel to New York to present new initiatives to help achieve the climate targets of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Environment Minister Schulze said, "Germany will present in New York the climate action plan that our climate cabinet has adopted. I hope that that this will help us to generate momentum for climate action at the international level, too. It is in Germany's very own interest to be in the vanguard of developing climate-friendly, sustainable forms of doing business. That will benefit the German economy and it will create new future-proof jobs. Our compass in this is the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda."

Development Minister Müller said, "Climate change has long since become a challenge for human survival. Especially for people in developing countries who have contributed the least to the problem. That is why we need to give these people a viable future on the ground and invest in the protection of rain forests, in a global energy transformation and in climate-neutral fuels. The decisions adopted by the climate cabinet are proof that Germany is serious about climate action. Being a pioneer, however, is also about investing in developing countries and emerging economies. China, India, Brazil Africa: that is where the battle against climate change will be won or lost."

The UN summit week comes at a time when public pressure for more ambitious climate and sustainability policies is higher than ever before; not least because climate change is becoming more and more of a tangible reality for all. The member countries of the United Nations are meeting at the level of heads of state and government with a view to instigating more ambitious action worldwide through new initiatives.

Based on the climate action plans that individual countries have so far published, the planet is more likely to see global warming in the range of 3 to 4 degrees than a temperature increase of less than 2 degrees. UN Secretary-General Guterres is therefore urging countries to increase their efforts. All countries are called upon to present new and more effective measures by 2020 to fully ensure that the Paris climate goals will be met.

With regard to sustainable development, too, global efforts must increase. According to the latest estimates, not all of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be achieved by 2030, despite the progress that has been made. The international community must therefore alter its course swiftly and with determination. Particularly worrisome, in addition to worsening climate change, are the trends evident in the areas of waste, biodiversity and inequality. That is why the German government is promoting international programmes of action for the SDGs that are lagging furthest behind.

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