Address by H.E. President Armen Sarkissian at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)
Glasgow, 2 November, 2021
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank Her Majesty and Her Majesty’s Government for organizing this significant and timely event.
Special thanks to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his colleagues and the City of Glasgow for an excellent summit and warm hospitality.
First, about Armenia - a small state but a global nation.
According to the World Bank analysis, Armenia is the 4th most vulnerable country to climate change in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. Armenia has registered a 1.3 degrees Celsius increase in temperature and a 9 percent decrease in precipitation.
Despite the challenges by the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, we are committed to a stronger integration into the global agenda on climate change and to demonstrating an increase in our climate ambition.
Armenia has consistently expressed its commitment to joining global efforts to combat climate change. In 2021, Armenia reaffirmed our commitment through the Nationally Determined Contributions and declared an objective of 40 percent reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to the 1990 levels.
The long-term objective of Armenia is to achieve climate neutrality in the second half of this century.
Transition to climate neutrality is at the core of the country’s energy independence, energy security and green growth policies.
Our vision of resilient and low-carbon growth is directly connected to a solid and effective adaptation strategy based on an ecosystem approach, reforestation, investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, new high technologies, promotion of electric mobility, and further development of nuclear energy.
Substantial public debt burdens most developing economies in their ability to access concessional and non-concessional climate finance.
In this regard, a creative approach is crucial. I am delighted to share with you our renewed “Debt-for-Climate Swap” Initiative. It presents a new climate finance instrument. And it will help developing countries to adapt more efficiently to climate change finance and provide new economic opportunities.
Exactly one year ago, during the war against Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan used internationally banned weapons to target not only civilians but also beautiful forests of the large area, causing massive forest fires and creating environmental disasters in place. We call on the international community to step up its efforts to prevent such irresponsible and inhumane behaviour.
The environmental challenges do not recognize borders and conflict lines, and we should bring all states of the world into comprehensive cooperation.
Now just a couple of words about this conference.
I thoroughly enjoyed the opening of the conference, enjoyed the speeches of my colleagues from worldwide. Everyone confirmed that there’s the big problem: climate change. But that’s not the only problem that we have these days because we are also facing pandemic and economic difficulties worldwide; we are facing a rise of populism, uncertainty, and unpredictability.
However, on the one hand, having all these problems, we have also recognized here globally that there’s huge wealth, and that wealth in trillions of dollars could resolve the issue. On the other hand, during the hundred years of development based on quantum technology and quantum physics, we have achieved phenomenal achievements in science and technology, and that technology today can resolve our problems be that in climate changes, be that in Covid and other problems that we are facing.
So, where is the problem? Why aren’t we efficient enough? I think there’s one thing we should learn from the history of science when 100 years ago, great scientists, like Albert Einstein, Max Planck, and Heisenberg realized that the classical laws of physics and mechanics could not be applied to the newly discovered small particles and atoms. You have to change your mentality, you have to change your philosophy, your logic, and even your common sense to understand and create the theory of quantum physics.
We are at a crossroads. The world has become quantum. This is a crossroad that we have to start thinking differently because the world that’s ahead of us, is not the one that was there 10 or 20 years ago. If we change our mentality and form our ambition and strategy, then we can effectively use the finances and the wealth that the world created during this phenomenal development and use the technology to handle the problems that we are facing. But not only to resolve the problems but also to create the basis of development to the brighter future years to come.
At the opening of this Summit, Professor Brian Cox took us to a trip to Cosmos to see from the above how amazingly beautiful this Planet is and to realize that in the whole Universe this is our Home and the Only One and there is no other alternative for us but to work and to fight for this Green and Blue Planet.
Armenia is committed to become a really Smart State, devoted to our Nature, Planet, and Humanity. And I’m optimistic that we can overcome these difficulties and build a brighter future for all of us.