For many people across the world, climate change is already a matter of life and death. Yet we are still not doing enough to protect them. Nor are we doing enough to capitalize on the social, economic and environmental opportunities of climate action, which can enable economies and societies to thrive sustainably for decades to come.
The UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Katowice was undoubtedly a step forward. By agreeing on the rules to operationalize the Paris Agreement, nations signaled that they are ready to step up ambition. At COP 24, we also saw other critical players, such as leaders in the finance sector, demonstrate their readiness to act on climate change with the urgency and seriousness it deserves. Multilateral development banks, private banks and investors all made promises that bode well for divesting their holdings of fossil fuels, incorporating climate risks in their portfolios and investing in concrete solutions to help developing nations adapt to climate change.
It takes an enormous amount of work to organize such a conference and bring it to a successful conclusion. The UNFCCC secretariat, the Presidency and all Parties deserve great credit for showing once more that multilateralism delivers. Now we must use the momentum generated by Katowice to focus on implementation and on the transformations needed to shift toward a resilient, low-emission global economy