New Delhi (India), February 27: The 22nd edition of the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) hosted by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) concluded on Friday in New Delhi with a call to align closely with the goals set out in the Paris Agreement. The three-day discourse ended with a call to make every moment count as the world is dangerously close to the 1.5-degree limit set in Paris and a call to close the widening gap between ambition and achievements. The summit was attended by a wide variety of actors in the political, business and climate change arenas from across the globe.
Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), stated: “We are heading for warming of 2.5ºC or more, with disastrous consequences”, and underscored the need for countries to align closely with their Paris commitments. He asserted the need to deliver a truly transformative Global Stocktake. “The Stocktake is the focal point of our work this year, the centrepiece of COP28, and the first time the world comes together to determine whether nations are meeting the climate goals agreed in Paris. The success of COP28 depends on the success of the Global Stocktake, or more specifically, the response to the Stocktake,” he added.
India’s minister for housing and urban affairs, Hardeep S Puri, said, “At the global level we need a paradigm shift from a country-centric approach to a people-centric approach to climate action.” Najla Bouden, prime minister of Tunisia, observed that the current international context is critical for developing and least developed countries, particularly in the backdrop of the Covid-19 crisis, the fall-out of the Russia-Ukraine war, climate change and unprecedented rise in food and energy prices. “These challenges can, in the absence of rapid and collective response, undermine the efforts of the international community in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and further widen the gap between North and South, between ambition and achievements,” she noted.
Underscoring that the convergence of sustainable development and climate change is at the heart of the G20 strategy this year, Dr Ajay Mathur, Director-General, The International Solar Alliance, asserted the need to build solar capacities. “We need the G20 to push for solar mini-grids as the option for universal energy access and help it by providing the guarantees that are necessary to pull in private sector financing,” he said.
Ugo Astuto, the European Union’s ambassador to India, underscored the imperative to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. “Even at the current 1.2-degree Celsius warming, every single country in the world is already affected by the climate crisis,” he added.
Nitin Desai, chairman of TERI’s governing council, added that “There is a sense of optimism as people were presenting solutions to the problems we are witnessing, whether it is climate finance or the management of sustainability in areas like agriculture, water and others.”
The summit also released a 10-point Act4Earth Manifesto, which encapsulated the key messages emerging from the deliberations.
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