Blog entry | 20-08-2021 | Get to know our ambassadors and their work
Climate change is happening at breakneck speed. This is the main conclusion of the United Nations Climate Committee IPCC. Work is required, but how? New Dutch climate envoy Jaime de Bourbon de Parme is committed to reaching agreements on climate action around the world. We can turn the tide. Now is the time to take decisive action.
The sixth climate report from the United Nations Climate Panel (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is not lying. Humans are causing an unprecedentedly rapid global warming. Only if we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions quickly and on a large scale will it be possible to reduce global warming and avoid the worst disasters.
You’ve only been working as a Dutch climate envoy for a few weeks and then the UN comes up with such a disturbing report. Are you shocked?
You could say that my start as a climate envoy could not have started at a more significant moment. In addition to the IPCC report, we will also have the COP26 International Climate Summit in Glasgow this fall. This is the most important climate summit since Paris in 2015.
What shocked me is that global warming is happening much faster than we previously thought. We may pass the internationally agreed target of 1.5 score within ten years.
Rapid global warming is a reality we all share. Our actions determine the temperature of the Earth. Every degree counts.
What does a climate envoy actually do?
More and more countries have a special climate envoy. You can see that there is a growing international awareness that we have to work with climate.
As a climate envoy, I am one of the faces of Dutch climate policy. During international climate summits, I oversee or represent our ministers and oversee expert negotiations. Much has been written about what the IPCC report will mean for the Netherlands. In the coming years, my mission will be to bring the rest of the world together with other nations and climate envoys. This concerns every country.
In your opinion, what should we know about the IPCC report?
With the IPCC report, there is now a crystal clear, science-based wake-up call for the international community. The report emphatically states what is causing global warming. ourselves. This is an alarm bell: no place on earth can escape the consequences of global warming.
At the same time, the report is also the basis for joint work. Every country supported the wording. This may sound technical, but it is a sine qua non if you want to tackle climate change at the system level.
The realization that we have to work with climate has of course been growing for some time. It was not without reason that the European Union announced an ambitious Green Deal, and the United States once again fully participates in international climate agreements under President Biden. And major sources of emissions in Asia such as Japan, South Korea and China make climate a priority. We all need more work.
The United Nations says there is still little time left.
‘This is correct. We can turn the tide if we act quickly and decisively. The world must adapt to what is to come and do everything in its power to reduce emissions immediately.
The young people who have taken to the streets all over the world have shaken the world. They expect more climate action. And rightly, this is about their future. We see movement towards reversal. Even some oil-producing countries are working on clean energy. But the pace must increase. If we don’t win this battle fast enough, we will lose it.
Outgoing Prime Minister Rutte said the Netherlands should become an Olympic champion for climate action. Shouldn’t we be wearing too big?
The Netherlands is working on a green transition. This is not without challenges. For example, we still have to catch up with renewable energy.
At the same time, we are a global leader in electric transportation and the circular economy. The polar model of our climate agreement has an exemplary international function. Our financial sector contributes to the fight against climate change and has signed the Climate Agreement. Climate will remain a priority in the new government, I have no doubts about that. The higher the ambition, the greater the credibility of working with other countries to find solutions.
Remember that as a member of the European Union we are not alone. Since the British left the European Union, the Netherlands has become the fifth largest economy in Europe. So we are within the European Union anything but a small country. We are heard. Europe is the third largest emitter in the world. So what we do in the context of the European Union has an impact.
What do you think, will we make it?
“We have a lot to catch up with because we started the game too late. The IEA expects global emissions to reach record levels again in 2023.
It can make you depressed, but that’s not an option. Yes, the effects of the climate are already being felt. Look at recent heat and flood records – also with us in Limburg. But the IPCC report also shows that the sense of urgency is growing.
Everyone has a role in this regard. World leaders, governments, the private sector, banks, civil society organizations. We’re all in this together and we can mean something. Anyway, I will work hard.
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