Bonn UN chief urges more ambition leadership and partnerships on climate action

AUDIO: The UN General Assembly helping to carry climate action forward. Addressing the United Nations Climate Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, on Wednesday, Secretary-General António Guterres called for more ambition, more leadership and more partnerships to tackle climate change.“Our duty – to each other and to future generations – is to raise ambition,” said Mr. Guterres at the opening of the high-level segment of COP23, which was also attended by Heads of State and Government, including President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Prime Minister of Fiji, Frank Bainimarana, who is also the President of COP23.“We need to do more on five ambition action areas: emissions, adaptation, finance, partnerships and leadership,” the Secretary-General added.The Bonn Conference, which opened on 6 November 2017, is taking place one year after the entry into force of the Paris Climate Agreement.The Agreement, which was adopted by the 196 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2015, calls on countries to combat climate change by limiting the rise of global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius and strive not to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius. Today, 170 Parties have ratified the treaty. Regarding emissions reductions, the UN chief urged countries “to use the 2020 revision of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to close the 2030 emissions gap.”He also stressed how essential climate mitigation is, calling for adaptation measures and strengthening resilience. The Green Climate Fund can play a catalytic role in this regard. He appealed to its members, especially donor nations, to reinvigorate engagement with that vital finance mechanism. The world should adopt a simple rule: If big infrastructure projects aren’t green, they shouldn’t be given the green light. Otherwise we will be locked into bad choices for decades to come UN chief GuterresAs greater ambition on emissions, adaptation and resilience “is inextricably linked to funding,” the Secretary-General stressed the need “to mobilize the agreed $100 billion annually for developing countries.” “We must stop making bets on an unsustainable future that will place savings and societies at risk,” he added, stressing that “if we add the economic benefits of avoiding the devastation of climate change impacts, gross domestic product (GDP) in 2050 would soar by 5 per cent.” “The world should adopt a simple rule: If big infrastructure projects aren’t green, they shouldn’t be given the green light. Otherwise we will be locked into bad choices for decades to come. Investing in climate-friendly development is where the smart money is needed,” Mr. Guterres said. The Secretary-General stressed that more ambition required action coalitions across all key sectors and by all actors. “We must engage all actors – national, regional and local governments, philanthropists and investors and consumers – in the transformation to a low-emission economy,” he said. As for political leadership, Mr. Guterres encouraged countries to be bold in their deliberations and decisions in Bonn and at home. “Show wisdom in investing in the opportunities of the future. Show compassion in caring what kind of world we build for our children,” he stated.Also addressing the COP23 High-Level segment, the President of the UN General Assembly, Miroslav Lajčák, reminded participants that “the decisions we make today will affect not only us – but also those who come after.” He added: “If we hand over a planet with an uncertain future, history will not forgive us.” For his part, Mr. Guterres welcomed a series of summits and conferences on climate change which are scheduled ahead of the UN Climate Summit in September 2019, including the ‘One Planet summit’ to be convened by France next month and focusing on financing, a gathering in California, bringing together non-State actors, and the COP24 in Katowice, Poland, in December 2018. read more

GAA seeking to expand TV coverage of games for Irish people abroad

first_imgTHE GAA WILL target an expansion in the North American market when negotiating the next round of TV media rights which are to come into play next April.GAA Director-General Paraic Duffy confirmed to in Pennsylvania at the weekend that making the broadcast of games more accessible to Irish disapora all over the world and particularly in North America is a key objective.The GAA’s current media rights package for television and radio – both domestic and international – ends with the conclusion of the 2014 Allianz football and hurling leagues.“The current package is coming to an end and one of the priorities for us in terms of the next package of rights is to make our games more easily accessible to people all over the world, particularly in North America,” revealed Duffy.“Be it through television or the internet, whatever way it is, is the way to get the games out there. We’re absolutely determined to do that.“There is a big demand from the Irish abroad to see the games and we want to meet that demand. Setanta have a lot of those rights at the moment. “We’ve a lot of proposals and we’re talking to a lot of different groups and that’ll go on over the next few months.”Duffy does not believe there are any major obstacles towards the broadcast distribution of GAA games on the internet.“The biggest is the availability of broadband I suppose. The opportunity to show your games on a whole range of outlets is increasing all the time.“We need to look at what is the best way to make them accessible and also to monetize the value of the rights as well.  But that’s very much a priority over the next six months to bring that to a successful conclusion.”The launch this year of the GAA’s ‘Just Play’ app, which sees highlights of recent games being released on that app every Tuesday, was part of the GAA’s plan to ascertain the demand for coverage.“That was just kind of to test the market, to see what kind of interest there was from people. It’s been interesting. It was just part of the exploratory process really.“Money is important, but it’s about making the games available as easily as possible.  And we’re just exploring a whole range of options on that at the moment. I’m not going to give away any more than that, but we are working very hard on it.”Dan Rooney helps launch the 2014 Croke Park Classic in the U.S.The ‘Mayo for Sam’ campaign gains support from the bottom of the oceanlast_img read more