Working visit of President Armen Sarkissian to Glasgow
On November 1, President Armen Sarkissian took part in the opening ceremony of the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson and the Secretary- General of the United Nations António Guterres welcomed the leaders of the countries participating in the summit. President Sarkissian had a brief conversation with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Within the framework of the summit, the President of Armenia had talks with the President of France, the Chancellor of Germany, the Emir of Qatar, the Prime Ministers of India, Canada, Spain, Italy, Australia, Argentina, Lebanon, Serbia, Montenegro, Kyrgyzstan and the Presidents of the Council of Europe.
More than 100 heads of state and government attended the Glasgow Conference, organized by the United Kingdom in cooperation with Italy. This climate change discussion, with about 30,000 participants, is the largest international conference the UK has ever hosted, as well as the most important event on climate change since the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson opened the Summit of the World Leaders and particularly said: "If we don’t get serious about climate change today, it will be too late for our children to do so tomorrow…
They will know that Glasgow was the historic turning point when history failed to turn."
In his speech, UN Secretary General António Guterres particularly noted: "Our addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink. We face a stark choice: either we stop it, or it will stop us. It's time to say: enough. Enough of brutalizing biodiversity. Enough of killing ourselves with carbon. Enough of treating nature like a toilet. Enough of burning and drilling and mining our way deeper. We are digging our own graves.
Over the last decade, nearly 4 billion people suffered climate-related disasters. I urge developed countries and emerging economies to build coalitions to create the financial and technological conditions to accelerate the decarbonization of the economy as well as the phase out of coal."
According to Prince Charles of Wales, the coronavirus pandemic has shown how devastating a global, cross-border threat can be․ "We have to reduce emissions urgently and take action to tackle the carbon already in the atmosphere. The scale and scope of threats we face call for global systems level solution based on radically transforming our current fossil fuel-based economy. Time has passed, the world must act now."
Other speakers also stressed the need for urgent steps to tackle climate change. They underscored that climate change will continue to be a common global challenge, and each country must take steps for the future of the planet, for the sake of future generations.
It was noted that under the 2015 Paris Agreement, the participating countries agreed to work together to curb global warming, to be prepared for the worst effects of climate change, and to provide state funding for these goals. And in Glasgow, world leaders outlined their countries' actions at the domestic and international levels, including emission reduction programs and steps to protect the planet's biodiversity, protect and restore natural environments and ecosystems.
A rapid transition to the use of renewable energy sources was underscored, noting that green supply chains and sustainable development should be given priority in climate change initiatives.
The speech of the President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian within the framework of the World Leaders Summit is scheduled for November 2.
The 2021 UN Climate Change Conference, also known as the COP26 or Glasgow Conference, is the 26th UN Climate Change Conference, attended by all the countries that have ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Armenia ratified the Convention in May 1993.
On November 2, the second day of the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow, the speeches of the Presidents and Heads of Government of the participating countries on the urgent steps needed to tackle climate change will continue.
The Glasgow Conference aims to develop a coordinated action plan to combat climate change.
The speech of the President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian is also scheduled for today. Earlier in the day, the President addressed US President Joe Biden, France President Emmanuel Macron, Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić, President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiadis, President of Argentina Alberto Fernández, President of Montenegro Milo Ðukanović, President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Lebanon Najib Mikati, Prime Minister of Luxemburg Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister Sweden Stefan Löfven, Chancellor of Austria Alexander Schallenberg and President of the European Council Charles Michel.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank Her Majesty and Her Majesty’s Government for organizing this significant and timely event.
Special thanks to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his colleagues and the City of Glasgow for an excellent summit and warm hospitality.
First, about Armenia - a small state but a global nation.
According to the World Bank analysis, Armenia is the 4th most vulnerable country to climate change in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. Armenia has registered a 1.3 degrees Celsius increase in temperature and a 9 percent decrease in precipitation.
Despite the challenges by the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, we are committed to a stronger integration into the global agenda on climate change and to demonstrating an increase in our climate ambition.
Armenia has consistently expressed its commitment to joining global efforts to combat climate change. In 2021, Armenia reaffirmed our commitment through the Nationally Determined Contributions and declared an objective of 40 percent reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to the 1990 levels.
The long-term objective of Armenia is to achieve climate neutrality in the second half of this century.
Transition to climate neutrality is at the core of the country’s energy independence, energy security and green growth policies.
Our vision of resilient and low-carbon growth is directly connected to a solid and effective adaptation strategy based on an ecosystem approach, reforestation, investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, new high technologies, promotion of electric mobility, and further development of nuclear energy.
Substantial public debt burdens most developing economies in their ability to access concessional and non-concessional climate finance.
In this regard, a creative approach is crucial. I am delighted to share with you our renewed “Debt-for-Climate Swap” Initiative. It presents a new climate finance instrument. And it will help developing countries to adapt more efficiently to climate change finance and provide new economic opportunities.
Exactly one year ago, during the war against Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan used internationally banned weapons to target not only civilians but also beautiful forests of the large area, causing massive forest fires and creating environmental disasters in place. We call on the international community to step up its efforts to prevent such irresponsible and inhumane behaviour.
The environmental challenges do not recognize borders and conflict lines, and we should bring all states of the world into comprehensive cooperation.
Now just a couple of words about this conference.
I thoroughly enjoyed the opening of the conference, enjoyed the speeches of my colleagues from worldwide. Everyone confirmed that there’s the big problem: climate change. But that’s not the only problem that we have these days because we are also facing pandemic and economic difficulties worldwide; we are facing a rise of populism, uncertainty, and unpredictability.
However, on the one hand, having all these problems, we have also recognized here globally that there’s huge wealth, and that wealth in trillions of dollars could resolve the issue. On the other hand, during the hundred years of development based on quantum technology and quantum physics, we have achieved phenomenal achievements in science and technology, and that technology today can resolve our problems be that in climate changes, be that in Covid and other problems that we are facing.
So, where is the problem? Why aren’t we efficient enough? I think there’s one thing we should learn from the history of science when 100 years ago, great scientists, like Albert Einstein, Max Planck, and Heisenberg realized that the classical laws of physics and mechanics could not be applied to the newly discovered small particles and atoms. You have to change your mentality, you have to change your philosophy, your logic, and even your common sense to understand and create the theory of quantum physics.
We are at a crossroads. The world has become quantum. This is a crossroad that we have to start thinking differently because the world that’s ahead of us, is not the one that was there 10 or 20 years ago. If we change our mentality and form our ambition and strategy, then we can effectively use the finances and the wealth that the world created during this phenomenal development and use the technology to handle the problems that we are facing. But not only to resolve the problems but also to create the basis of development to the brighter future years to come.
At the opening of this Summit, Professor Brian Cox took us to a trip to Cosmos to see from the above how amazingly beautiful this Planet is and to realize that in the whole Universe this is our Home and the Only One and there is no other alternative for us but to work and to fight for this Green and Blue Planet.
Armenia is committed to become a really Smart State, devoted to our Nature, Planet, and Humanity. And I’m optimistic that we can overcome these difficulties and build a brighter future for all of us.