Foreign policy Egils Levits
07.11.2022. Valsts prezidenta Egila Levita runa ANO klimata pārmaiņu konferencē COP27. Foto autors: Ilmārs Znotiņš, Valsts prezidenta kanceleja.

Mr President, distinguished delegates,

I thank Egypt and President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for hosting the COP27 meeting. The high level of attendance points to the urgent need for this gathering.

The effects of climate change are felt throughout the world.

For example, in Somalia, more frequent drought has led to famine. In Pakistan, melting glaciers have caused flooding of a third of the country’s territory. From Greece to Australia to the US, extreme temperatures cause extensive wildfires. In Latvia, my country, climate change is decreasing biological diversity.

To make matters worse, Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine directly impacts food and energy security, the environment, and distracts attention and resources from climate action.

Geographical location, income level, and gender matter. It is our duty to protect and empower the communities most vulnerable and least responsible for climate change.

The current energy crisis, caused by Russia’s war against Ukraine, is another wake-up call that we need to speed up the transition to renewable energy. Green solutions not only contribute to the mitigation efforts but also ensure greater energy security.

In Latvia, we are diversifying our energy mix by accelerating wind energy projects. We are determined to reach climate neutrality by 2050. Latvia is committed to the EU’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % by 2030. At a local level, two large Latvian cities – Rīga and Liepāja – aim to be among the first 100 climate-neutral cities in Europe by 2030.

Collective problems need collective solutions. And these solutions must be based on just transition. Just transition is a keyword of this conference. Effective climate governance requires close cooperation between government, business, the scientific community and civil society. Especially, the civil society. In Latvia, too, we are determined to further improve our climate governance mechanism.

Mr President,

COP27 should be aimed at bridging our differences in mitigation, adaptation, loss-and-damage and climate finance. Delays in the mitigation efforts will only increase the need for adaptation measures and financial resources. The outcome of Sharm el-Sheikh must be an ambitious, comprehensive global response to climate change.

As Secretary-General Guterres already said, the world needs a Pact between developed, emerging and developing economies in order to save our planet.

Thank you!