State of Palestine
Chairman of Environment Quality Authority
Mr Jameel Mtoor
Greetings from State of Palestine and many thanks for this initiative which comes in these difficult days of unprecedented challenges that needs unprecedented, innovative and creative solutions.
COVID-19 is Real, serious and threatening human lives of our generation. We eye witnessed it devastating socio-economic impacts represented in loss of lives, loss of incomes and immense economic losses. The good news is that COVID-19 was successful in motivating our governments to take the wise bold decisions in mobilizing trillions of dollars to contain the pandemic and its impact.
In comparison, Climate change likewise, is real and serious, but threatening the lives of current and future generations, we eye witnessed and still witnessing its huge social, economic and environmental impacts all over the globe. We are scientifically confident that future impacts will be tougher and are expected to hit harder in the nearest future if we did not take the right decisions and pursue swift actions to curb the emissions in a timely manner.
Unfortunately, the reality is that the collective efforts of all governments were not able so far to contain the impact of climate change despite the twenty-five years of the UNFCCC process, in contrary, and despite warnings from scientists, the emissions have continued to rise as global temperatures continued to soar. This rate of increase in GHG is expected to lead to temperature rise, possibly to around 0.30C a decade, as carbon emissions continue on their upward trajectory. In addition, the staggering truth is that in the same period 28 trillion tonnes of ice have disappeared from the surface of the Earth. “The level of ice loss revealed recently by a group of scientists matches the worst-case-scenario predictions outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This rise in the sea level, triggered by melting glaciers and ice sheets, could reach a meter by the end of the century. This is translated into: displacement of one hundred million people from their homeland and becoming an environmental refugee.
Finally, I strongly call for Enhancing the meaningful participation of local communities and indigenous people, children and youth in climate change processes, in order to ensure that their future is safe and they are engaged in the recovery plans.
In Conclusion, Determination combined with a unified, collective and inclusive efforts is the only way forward to pursue resilient and smart recovery. Reminding all that no one should be left behind including people under occupation which is considered as an amplifier for all severe impacts of COVID-19 as well as of climate change.
I thank you.