Thank you and the Secretary-General for your steadfast leadership in ensuring that climate change continues to be on the top of the UN agenda as it the single most serious threat to sustainable development and the goals set out in Agenda 2030.
This meeting and the following meeting leading up to Climate Action Summit in September should be used to forge a greater consensus and seek out concrete actions and solutions that can support our fight against climate change. There still are many, well known and undiscovered, opportunities for mitigation including in energy transformation and nature-based solutions, not least land restoration.
Iceland is firmly committed to the Paris agreement targets and the Icelandic government has recently approved a holistic Climate Action Plan to implement those commitments with the ambitious aim to make Iceland carbon neutral before 2040, by phasing out fossil fuels in transport and increase afforestation and restoration of wetlands.
Tending to our own backyard is not enough, as our policies and actions need to be inclusive and just.
High-income countries must both reduce their emissions and help low-income countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change. There is still a long way to go as more investments are needed. We are committed to doing our bit through multilateral funds, technical assistance and training.
A stronger partnership with the private sector is called for to bring investments, innovation and know-how into national and global effort to bolster sustainable development and fight climate change. Municipalities and civil society also play a key role in this regard.
It is crucial that those who suffer the most from climate change have their voices heard. I would particularly like to underline the importance of full and equal participation of women in climate-related policy- and decision-making at all levels as women, not the least in developing countries bear the highest burden of the impact of climate change.
There is also a growing demand for involvement and action by youth. Young girls and boys in almost all corners of the world are demanding clear actions today, in order to safeguard their tomorrow. We need to understand better the intergenerational effects of our policies and provide a more inclusive platform for those that represent the future.
The clock is ticking. We need to implement the Paris agreement and continue to seek innovative solutions and share best practices on how to accelerate and strengthen our response to climate change. These coming months should be used to make sure that the Climate Action Summit will deliver concrete results.