The opening segment was chaired by high-level delegates, including General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand; H.E. Varawut Silpa-archa, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand; Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact; Suphachai Chearavanont, Chairperson of GCNT; Gita Sabharwal, UN Resident Coordinator in Thailand; Dr. Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President of Stock Exchange of Thailand; and Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, Secretary-General, Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand. With more than 70 GCNT members, private sector organizations and stakeholders in Thailand mobilized to work together through a “solutions-oriented” approach to mitigate the climate challenge.
Climate change is a more serious threat to humanity than the COVID-19 crisis, which may eventually disappear. It is one of the most pressing and challenging issues in sustainable development, as has been confirmed by recent scientific reports. Our world is experiencing worsening global warming: intense wildfires, rising sea levels, melting Polar ice caps and reduced snowfall, all culminating in the year 2020 being the world’s warmest year on record.
The central objective of the Paris Agreement is to hold the increase in global average temperatures to 1.5-degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Despite this, the year 2020 saw a 1.2-degree Celsius of warming, pointing to the severity of the current situation. The former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said: “There is no Plan B because there is no Planet B” – all this means we must take serious action now to preserve tomorrow as there is no spare planet.