Opening remarks by UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Alessandro Fracassetti at the launch of the Third National Communication on Climate Change

13 Mar 2014

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Vice Prime Minister Pesevski,
Deputy Minister Temelkovski,
Dear guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to be here today.

First and foremost, congratulations on being the first country in the region to have completed a Third National Communication on Climate Change.

And it is good to hear from the Vie-prime Minister that Climate Change is considered a top priority for the Government. I would like to thank the 40 people from various ministries, national and international experts, NGOs, the private sector, and from our own UNDP team for their tireless work on this important document over two whole years.

Why is the Third National Communication on Climate Change an important document?

First: It comes at a time when international negotiations on climate change are intensifying in the build-up to a meaningful, universal agreement in Paris in 2015. Paris 2015 is the place and time where a new global climate agreement is expected. This agreement should enter into force as from 2020, after the finalization of the Kyoto Protocol.

This Paris meeting will provide an opportunity for every country to say how it is and will contribute to global efforts for ensuring that warming remains below an increase of 2 degrees Celsius.With this document in hand, the country is fully prepared to make a valuable contribution.

Second: This document provides clear directions on what needs to be done at both national and local level to tackle the climate change challenge in many areas.

We will be hearing more from our national experts present here, but let me just point out three key examples from the Third National Communication which I found interesting:

First, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the direct contribution of tourism to the overall economy is expected to grow significantly. Without adaptation and mitigation measures to reduce the negative impact of climate change, mountain tourism for example,  is highly likely to suffer, with snow-reliant tourist activities such as skiing, snowboarding and off-road adventure holidays becoming unviable in resorts at lower altitudes.

But if the country gets prepared for the impact of climate change on tourism, improvements will be apparent in the business environment, in human capital, and in rural development.

Second, If all continues to be business-as-usual, and no investments are made to promote energy access, expand renewable energy use and improve energy efficiency, the energy consumption is projected to grow by 48% by 2032, and by 102% by 2050.

The increased demand for energy will require a total investment of around EUR 4,005 million, plus an additional EUR 95 million for new transmission and distribution networks.

Third, the Third National Communication assesses that the emission of greenhouse gases in 2020 will be twice as high than in 2010, (mainly because of the increased number of old vehicles). If low fossil fuels are introduced and the vehicle fleet is improved, there could be an annual reduction of 0,36Mt of CO2, which could also significantly reduce air pollution.

All these potential benefits and threats explain why, in line with the UN’s global commitment to fight climate change, UNDP has been supporting our national partners since 2000 to effectively deal with climate change, and we will continue to do so.

There are 3 messages that I would like you to take away from today. These are the messages that were sent out just two days ago at the recent Climate Change conference in Bonn (ADP 2014 Ad hoc working group on Durban platform for enhanced action) by the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, (Christiana Figueres):

Climate-friendly development keeps local economies safe and healthy.

Climate-friendly investment controls costs and improves returns.

Climate action is the best way to minimize risk and ensure rewards.

So, what is most important now is immediate joint coordinated action to meet the goals set out in the communication.

This will make it easier to access all national and international available funding and to coordinate our efforts to provide for a sustainable future.

Thank you