Governments from across Asia and the Pacific on Friday endorsed a UN resolution to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact.
They re-committed to immediately curb greenhouse gas emissions – of which the region accounts for over half of the global emissions.
The resolution further recommends countries to promote clean energy technologies, regional power system connectivity, low-emission mobility, early warning systems and strengthened use of climate change-related statistics as part of crucial mitigation and adaptation strategies.
Nine other resolutions aimed at strengthening regional action and partnerships towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were also adopted at the 79th session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), which was held in Bangkok from May 15 to 19 and drew over 1,000 representatives from governments and stakeholder groups.
Among others, the resolutions underscored commitments towards environmental protection; mitigating and minimising the consequences of disasters in the water basin of the Aral Sea; supporting countries in special situations; promoting digital cooperation and inclusion; advancing the use of space applications; promoting disability-inclusive development; better understanding of the linkages between climate and ocean; and sustainable urban development.
Recognising the transformative role of cities at the frontline of almost all global development and climate agendas, countries emphasised the positive contributions of national, subnational and local governments. They encouraged stakeholders to work together closely to develop impactful urban initiatives in implementing the 2030 Agenda.
Several of the resolutions at this year’s commission also acknowledged the unique challenges of least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States in the region, who find themselves increasingly vulnerable amidst the impacts of climate change, geopolitical tensions, economic headwinds and the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the sidelines of the 79th Commission session, ESCAP and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat signed a memorandum of understanding to complement each other’s strategic work on the SDGs, climate action and resilient development, social inclusion and equity, and regional economic and trade cooperation opportunities in the Pacific.