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Helen Clark: Opening Speech at Peruvian Partnerships Dialogues on Public-Private Collaboration for Climate and Development, UNFCCC COP 20, Lima, Peru

09 Dec 2014

It is a pleasure to take part in today’s event on the importance of partnerships for action on climate change and development. My thanks go to the Government of Peru and the World Economic Forum for organizing this dialogue.

2015 is a critical year for advancing climate action and sustainable development.

• In March in Japan the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will determine what succeeds the Hyogo Framework on Disaster Reduction. It goes without saying that many disasters are those driven by extreme weather events.

• In July the Third UN Conference on Financing for Development will be held in Addis Ababa. Its success will be vital for reaching agreement on ambitious post-2015 development agenda.

• In September at the UN General Assembly, world leaders are expected to agree on the post-2015 agenda and sustainable development goals.

• In Paris next December, a new global climate agreement is due to be finalised.

In UNDP’s work around the world we see how much all these major conferences and the issues they deal with matter for people and our planet.

• We see how changing rainfall patterns destroy livelihoods in communities dependent on agriculture;

• We see increasingly extreme and costly natural disasters wiping out the hard fought gains of poor households, communities, and countries – aggravating inequalities and sending development progress into reverse;

• We see how lacking the means to get investment in low carbon development solutions locks poor countries and communities into high emission development pathways.

But what we also see is that solutions to the challenges exist. We work with many countries on inclusive and sustainable development. What is needed now are concerted efforts to help countries find the solutions which will work for them and to scale up what works.

Achieving that will require strong partnerships across the public and private sectors and civil society. The work to be done is far, far greater than that which official development assistance alone can support. Yet, if that assistance is designed to be catalytic, it will help build the capacities and enabling environment which opens up access to much larger funding and makes transformation to green economies and societies possible.

So, now is the time to expand and deepen our partnerships and foster new ones. Partnerships should also facilitate greater South-South and Triangular Co-operation, and work with the dynamic private sectors in developing countries on sustainable business solutions.

At the country level, UNDP has been a partner in many public-private collaborations aimed at getting sustainable production and investment in sustainable technologies. Just one example: in Uruguay, we supported the government with a policy framework to encourage independent power producers in the wind energy sector by reducing the risks associated with investing in the energy market. This has facilitated the development of 340 megawatts of new energy from wind farms. Retail tariffs for consumers were lowered, and a reliable source of renewable energy is now available. One gigawatt worth of new investment is anticipated by the end of next year as a result of this initiative.

At the global level, we are especially enthusiastic about the big partnership which has developed around the role of forests in tackling climate change. At the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in September, more than 170 governments, companies, civil society and indigenous peoples organisations endorsed the New York Declaration on Forests. The World Economic Forum played an important role in bringing us to that point.

The commitment made by those signing up to the Declaration would see deforestation halved by 2020 and ended by 2030. Ending deforestation would remove between 4.5 and 8.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide emitted each year – the equivalent of removing all the cars currently on the world’s roads.

Partnerships which can achieve results on this scale are exactly what we need to tackle climate change and achieve sustainable development.

UNDP looks forward to working with the public and private sectors and with indigenous peoples and civil society to build the big partnerships required to realize a low-emission, climate-resilient, and sustainable future for all.