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Webinar “Climate Change Priorities on Health, Human Rights and Labour”. Intervento dell’Ambasciatore Cornado

Intervento dell’Amb. Gian Lorenzo Cornado, Rappresentante Permanente d’Italia presso le Organizzazioni Internazionali in Ginevra, al Webinar dal titolo ‘Climate Change Priorities on Health, Human Rights and Labour’ organizzato dal Governo del Bangladesh e dal Climate Vulnerable Forum (Martedi 9 febbraio 2021)

Mr. Minister


Distinguished Panelists

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all I would like to thank the Government of Bangladesh for hosting this Webinar on ‘Climate Change Priorities on Health, Human Rights and Labour’ and for the kind invitation

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time,

the more we tackle this global issue, the more we realize the magnitude of the impact it has on so many aspects of our life:

biodiversity, ecosystems, human and animal health, human rights, gender issues, economy, agriculture, are some of the sectors affected by climate change.

As a Country that has always been ambitious on climate action, Italy intends to reaffirm and strengthen its role towards a virtuous, ambitious and supportive path.

2021 is a key year for the environment, since it will be marked by the Conference of Parties of the three Rio Conventions as well as by the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and by the UN Food Systems Summit.

Moreover, the UN Conference on Oceans and the Fifth United Nations Assembly on the Environment will also be held this year.

Furthermore, Italy and the UK will lead multilateral efforts in their capacities of Chairs of the G20 and of the G7 and as co-Chairs of the UNFCCC COP26.

During this year we will therefore have the task to tackle climate change amidst the social, economic and political aftermath of the pandemic crisis.

This COVID 19 crisis has opened up new scenarios for global climate strategies: today we have the opportunity and the moral duty to ‘build back better and greener’ and I am confident that the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda and the European Green Deal, will guide us towards the post-pandemic recovery.

In a fragmented international system, multilateral fora such as the G7 and the G20 need to speak with a single voice when it comes to addressing the most urgent global challenges.

This year the two agendas are aligned in identifying climate change as a high priority.

The G7 is in fact focusing on issues such as global health, climate and trade, while the G20 Presidency agenda is centered around three main pillars: People, Planet and Prosperity.

1. Allow me to briefly illustrate the role of Italy in 2021, both as a partner for CoP26 and as G20 Chair.

The 26th Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention on Combating Climate Change will be hosted by the UK in Glasgow in November, while Italy will host the “Pre-CoP” -the Ministerial preparatory meeting- and the “Youth4climate”: Driving Ambition” in September in Milan.

We chose to host these two events back-to-back, to underline and promote the engagement of the young generations in the decision-making process, because the actions we undertake today will have an impact on their future.

The idea is to channel in positive and constructing ways the youth mobilization that is taking place worldwide on the topic of climate change, in order to make young people responsible and to recognize them as key players in the climate action.

As I previously mentioned, the G20 agenda rests upon three main pillars: People, Planet, Prosperity.

In 2021, in addition to the Ministerial meetings and the G20 Summit, Italy will host Global Health Summit, organized jointly with the European Commission, as further proof of our commitment on this crucial issue.

As we know the pandemic has a profound impact on the health of humans worldwide, it affects peoples’ livelihoods, our economies, international trade, hampering our ability to fully prosper and express our potential. It must be addressed as a planetary issue

2. But we have to remember that there are undeniable inter-connections also between human rights, environmental protection and the impact of climate change.

Loss of biodiversity, extinction of species, pollution and the overall degradation of the earth´s ecosystems have a significant impact at global level on the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to safe drinking water and sanitation.

Because, as we know , climate change does not impact all persons in the same way, it exposes to increasing risks mainly those belonging to vulnerable groups.

As a member of the Human Rights Council, Italy has been actively engaging in the discussions on the HRC resolutions on human rights and environment.

In particular we supported the process to recognize the right to a healthy environment as a fundamental right of the individual, and as such, Italy has been among the main sponsors of the Resolution 45/30 on “Realizing the rights of the child through a healthy environment”.

3. Concerning the Labour and Climate change perspective, a green recovery from the pandemic crisis will be essential to achieve sustainable development, as well as global economic prosperity.

Climate and environmental change have constantly been recalled by ILO. The transition to low-carbon, environmentally sustainable economies and societies could become a strong driver of employment creation, skills upgrading, social justice and poverty eradication towards a greener, inclusive and sustainable recovery and a better use of renewable energies.

Reskill and upskill the workforce will also be of the utmost importance; the Italian Presidency of the G20 will support education, capacity building and training, with particular attention to the younger ones.

It is going to be an intense, busy year for Italy and for the whole international community on the Climate change front.

By working together, we will be able to recover from this crisis and seize the opportunity to build back a better future, learning from our shared multilateral experiences and ensure that efficient, innovative tools and technologies become the basis for a more resilient, sustainable and greener growth.