President Stevo Pendarovski addressed today the Youth Climate Change Summit in Skopje – from Milan to Glasgow and beyond …, an initiative supported by UNICEF and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The Summit is organized in partnership with the Italian Embassy, as one of the hosts of the UN Youth Climate Change Summit in Milan and the Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as host of the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.
I am honored to open this Youth Climate Change Summit, which we are organizing in close cooperation with UNICEF, as part of our joint initiative “Rethink Future”.
This year we celebrate three decades of Macedonian independence, years of success, but also of numerous challenges that stood and still stand before our common state. There is no doubt that the next 30 years, not only for us in the Republic of North Macedonia, but for the whole world, will be defined by the biggest global challenge, and that is climate change.
The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – IPCC unequivocally indicates that we are already living the last decade in which we can influence to curb global warming. However, to do so, it will be necessary to quickly and radically change the energy and production system in the world. We will have to acquire new, sustainable living habits and show much more care for the environment. Otherwise, if we fail to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally during this crucial decade, and if we fail to reach net zero emissions by 2050, then we will inevitably reach a point of no return.
This year’s forest fires and floods in our country and in Europe predict what future awaits us. Due to climate change, extreme weather conditions will be more frequent and more intense, with more human casualties and greater damage to national economies and ecosystems. Heat waves, droughts and fires will become more frequent in some regions, and storms and floods in others. Particularly vulnerable to climate change is and will be the Mediterranean region to which we belong.
These are the findings and predictions of science. But what can we do about it? Realistically, we can do very little ourselves, but together with other countries in Europe and the world, we can do a lot. North Macedonia is one of the first countries to adopt a National Strategy for Energy Development by 2040. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, this year we adopted a revised national greenhouse gas contribution. We have identified as many as 63 climate action plans that are directly related to 15 sustainable development goals.
I am glad that the Government recently adopted the Long-Term Climate Action Strategy with an Action Plan. The goal of this Strategy is to achieve green, low carbon and climate sustainable development. The Strategy obliges us to reduce national net greenhouse gas emissions by 72% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.
Dear participants of the youth summit,
The effects of the decisions made by our generation will be felt by all future generations. In ten days I will participate in the World Leaders’ Summit on Climate Change in Glasgow. There, in addition to conveying the views and policies of our country, together with other world leaders, I will advocate for the future of you and all future generations.
You are the most informed and digitalized generation in the history of mankind. To fight against this global challenge we need your enthusiasm, your innovative and creative ideas and solutions. That is why we are here today, to hear your thoughts on how precisely we can implement the mentioned strategies in practice and provide a safer future for you and for future generations.