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President Pahor’s speech at the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference

Katovice, 3. 12. 2018 | speech

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, is attending the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference, the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) in Katowice.

Below is the speech by the President of the Republic of Slovenia at the conference. The spoken word applies.

"Distinguished President, Mr Duda,
Heads of States and Governments,
Secretary-General, Mr Guterres,
Friends of Planet Earth,

The Paris Agreement is not just a contract. It is also a promise, it is mutual trust. It represents higher values and higher loyalty to planet Earth, which is above the loyalty to our nations and countries. It is loyalty to long-lasting sustainable universal values.

The Paris agreement is, without doubt, one of the most important chapters ever agreed and adopted in the history of the United Nations. It aims towards “well below 2 degrees Celsius target” with strong aspiration towards 1.5 degrees Celsius.

But it goes so much wider and beyond these two figures. The full implementation of the Paris agreement leads us all and together into safe, secure, climate friendly and sustainable world, where the standards are high, and the risks are low; where the promises and commitments are kept; where efforts for mutual trust is our job on a daily basis; where fairness, solidarity and climate justice prevail.

Throughout the “Talanoa dialogue”, we should be aware of the core principles and values embedded in our national constitutions, climate convention, Paris and other international agreements, among others. These principles are the basis for the continued deliberation to balancing the climate and sustainable development challenges and opportunities between our and future generations for the implementation of the Paris agreement and long-term global and national climate policies.

Just last month I introduced a new concept of public debates on pressing social issues under the joint heading CONSULTATIONS WITH THE PRESIDENT. Our first debate was on climate change - in the world and in Slovenia.

Slovenian government will adopt a long-term climate strategy by the end of 2019, and the debate itself called for Slovenia to take an ambitious course of action in terms of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The strategy until 2050 would be put forward to the National Assembly once adopted by the government.
Some believe this could be the most important document since Slovenian independence.

Three scenarios are being set out;
• - to cut greenhouse emissions by 80% compared to 1990 levels,
• - to reduce them by 95% or
• - carbon neutrality.

For me, one of the most beautiful photographs ever taken is the Blue Marble, which was shot from space. In fact, it is only after seeing our planet from space that one realises how small it is and that it is entrusted to our common care.

Only after seeing it from space one becomes aware that it can support billions of people only if they live in solidarity."

President Pahor’s speech at the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

President Pahor’s speech at the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA