UN agencies have spoken out about their commitment to deliver as one in the fight against climate change.
Representatives from UN-HABITAT, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the UN Development Programme, the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the World Food Programme and the World Meteorological Organisation have outlined the UN system’s collective capacity and ability to support the adaptation to and mitigation of climate change around the world
Participants at the 16th Climate Change Summit in Cancun, Mexico heard how the adverse effects of climate change will continue to impede sustainable development unless targeted planning and action was taken.
Speaking at the summit, Axumite Gebre-Egziabher, Head of the Global Division at UN-HABITAT, said that with half the world’s population now living in cities and one billion of them in slums, city wide vulnerability assessments would need to be carried out and integrated with enhanced urban planning policies that took climate change into account if the challenge of creating more sustainable cities was to be met.
Gebre-Egziabher also stressed that although the commitment to adapt and mitigate climate change was global, the implementation had to be local.
Commenting after the event, Rafael Tuts, the Chief of the Urban Environment and Planning Branch at UN-HABITAT said "The Cancun side-event recognized the role of the United Nations system in supporting cities' climate change adaptation and mitigation action.”
“Examples from Mexico, the Philippines, Jordan, Norway and Spain highlighted how city action can be enhanced through international partnerships,” he concluded.
For many, the Cancun has given a welcome boost to the international process of climate change adaption and mitigation, with the Cancun Agreement setting countries more firmly on the path to low-emission futures.