Steiner Calls for Action to Reduce Short Lived Climate Forces at Mexico Ministerial Meeting
Remarks by Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director (UNEP)
Ministerial Meeting on Short Lived Climate Forcers (SLCFs)
Mexico, 12 September 2011-Honourable minister, ladies and gentlemen.
Today's meeting comes some nine months before Rio+20-nearly 20 years after the Earth Summit of 1992, the world is again on the road to Rio.
1992 was an extraordinary moment in time and generated several treaties central to international cooperation and sustainable development including the UN Convention on Climate Change.
Real achievements and transformational instruments have been evolved under this UN convention.
Who would have thought 20 years ago that carbon would be traded like sugar or silver on global commodity markets or that offsets, generating clean energy projects in developing countries, would become established under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism.
Last year, according to UNEP's global trends in sustainable energy, over $210 billion was invested in clean, renewable energy systems.
Nevertheless, there remains a significant gap in ambition versus reality in terms of getting the globe on track to keep world-wide temperatures under that critical 2 degrees C.
The emissions gap report, launched last year and coordinated by UNEP in partnership with climate modelling centres, points to a gap equal to around 5 Giggatones of C02 equivalent even under the best commitments and pledges by nations.
Many peer reviewed science papers have been emerging that warn of a 4 degree C temperature rise by around 2050 unless urgent action is taken-4 degrees is a terrifying prospect with profound implications for ecosystems, human well-being and regional and global security on multiple fronts.