GENEVA, 17 December, 2018 – The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, today welcomed the outcome of the COP24 climate change conference and the continued commitment of UN Member States to implement the Paris Agreement.
“The Paris Agreement Work Programme is a solid basis for future action on climate change. It should also encourage greater alignment between national action plans on climate change and national strategies for disaster risk reduction to ensure that extreme weather events are not viewed in isolation from other risk drivers including poverty, rapid and unplanned urbanization, the loss of protective eco-systems, and population growth in hazard exposed areas.
“The level of ambition on reducing greenhouse gas emissions needs to be raised as we are currently on course for a 3˚C rise in temperatures. We are daily confronted with the impact that a 1˚C rise is having across the world including unprecedented drought and wildfires, damaging storms and floods, and record heatwaves.
“There are distressing signs that extreme weather events are contributing towards a rise in poverty, hunger and internal displacement as they disrupt the lives of millions of people every year.
“The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction sets out global targets for reducing disaster losses by 2030 and UN Member States have agreed on a deadline of 2020 for having in place national and local strategies to reduce loss of life, the numbers of disaster affected people, economic losses and damage to critical infrastructure.
“These strategies have to factor in the inevitable impacts of climate change for the foreseeable future and we need to see a much greater degree of ambition when it comes to investing in reducing disaster risk and building resilience to disasters especially for the poor who suffer disproportionately from both natural and man-made hazards.”