"I am pleased to be with you today to discuss the critical issue of reducing the risk of disasters flowing from the impacts of climate change. I can think of no more appropriate place to be discussing this subject than here in
"Little undermines development like disaster. Decades of sustainable development gains can be wiped out overnight. One needs look no further than what happened with Cyclone Idai in
"Last year's special report from the
"Countries must show how [intended] nationally determined contributions will be enhanced by 2020, and they must demonstrate how they will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade and get to net zero emissions by 2050.
"At the same time, it is abundantly clear that climate disruption is happening now and everywhere. Every week brings us news of more climate-related devastation, and climate impacts are only going to increase in severity and frequency.
"As is always the case, the poor and vulnerable are the first to suffer and the worst hit by climate impacts. That is why, as well as tackling the causes of climate change, we must leave nobody behind when dealing with its consequences.
"For that reason, the Climate Action Summit has a strong focus on adaptation and resilience, as well as financing for adaptation, not least through a significant replenishment of the
"Initiatives have been put forward for the summit by countries and partners that seek to address disaster risk reduction. These include proposals to significantly increase the availability of insurance to poor and vulnerable people. It is crucial to give them an avenue to recover quickly from disaster.
"We must also aim, not only to respond more efficiently to disaster after it happens, but through advanced warning and preparation, we must work to prevent disaster from happening in the first place.
"This is not just the right thing to do, it also makes economic sense. For example, making infrastructure more climate-resilient has a benefit-cost ratio of about 4 to 1. Acting early is thus not only a humanitarian imperative, but also economically rational.
"Proposals for the Climate Action Summit on early warning, early action, as well as on mainstreaming of climate risks in investment decision-making seek to address exactly this issue.
"I ask for your support in putting these proposals into practice and helping them achieve the necessary scale and continuity. For the Climate Action Summit and its outcomes to be a success, we must all work together.
"I very much look forward during to hearing your views on how we can all do better to reduce the risk of disaster from climate impacts. We must make sure that nobody is left behind as a result of the climate impacts that we are already experiencing and more and more will experience in the future."