CEFR_C2 (IELTS 8-8.5)

3. A new perspective on the journey to net zero (subtitles)

2022-01-09 18:15:46 simyang 0


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As a girl, I walked along the shores of Lake Chad,

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one of the largest lakes in Africa.

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It went on forever,

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touching four countries: Chad, Niger,

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Cameroon and my own country, Nigeria.

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It seemed like an ocean to me at the time,

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with 30 million people relying on its bounty.

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Sadly, today, as you fly over Lake Chad,

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you won't see much.

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It's a fraction of its original size.

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Ninety percent of this fresh water basin has dried up,

00:48

and with it, millions and millions of livelihoods,

00:51

farmers, fisherfolk and our market women.

00:55

Climate change takes yet another victim.

00:58

Now, add another extreme weather event

01:01

the Harmattan.

01:02

What was once a short three-month season of dust and wind,

01:06

one farmer told me the dust storms are coming earlier and bigger every year.

01:10

A single storm can wipe out an entire year's crop overnight.

01:16

The human and ecological cost?

01:18

More jobs lost.

01:20

Hunger.

01:21

Families displaced.

01:22

A perfect storm for crushing poverty.

01:25

And even more, sadly, violence.

01:28

And so it may be a challenge to grow food today

01:31

in the Lake Chad basin,

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but it has also become a fertile ground for extremists to take root,

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wreaking havoc on peace.

01:40

Sadly, touch down anywhere in the world,

01:43

and you'll hear more tragic stories of climate devastation.

01:48

Droughts.

01:49

Floods, wildfires.

01:51

Lives and livelihoods in jeopardy,

01:53

tipping towards catastrophe.

01:56

And yet, despite it all,

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I still have hope in our human family.

02:01

And you might ask why.

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It's our capacity for human endeavor to survive against all odds.

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One that created the extraordinary promise of the UN Paris Agreement

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and its power to drive the 17 Sustainable Development Goals

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for people and for planet.

02:20

We know that the promise of Paris aims to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees

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to ensure that we survive as a human family.

02:29

To get there, we know exactly what we must do.

02:32

We must decarbonise the global economy by 2050

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by way of halving the emissions in this decade.

02:39

We must make coal history,

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with coal phased out in rich countries by 2030

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and in other countries by 2040.

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The G20 produces 80 percent of all greenhouse gas pollution,

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and so they too must,

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these 20 global leaders,

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take responsibility and lead.

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We must stop spending trillions subsidizing fossil fuels,

03:06

clogging the lungs of our people

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and destroying forests and oceans.

03:11

And we must provide the resources that are needed

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for a just green and blue transition.

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We know that these are all essential ingredients

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to fulfill the Paris Agreement.

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Now, try to re-imagine with me

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what this journey to net-zero emissions could look like

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through another lens.

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One that puts our focus on investing in people to reach their potentials

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while protecting our home, planet Earth.

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Decarbonization, a powerful vehicle for climate action

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but also for delivering on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

03:47

Let me give you an example of what this looks like.

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The Great Green Wall,

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an idea born in Africa over a decade ago at the edge of the Sahara.

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It aims to stop desertification

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and restore 100 million hectares of degraded lands

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from Senegal in the West to Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.

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It's an ambitious plan to plant 100 million trees,

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improve water harvesting and the use of land.

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Clearly, the climate benefits will be enormous,

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but it's about much more than keeping dust in the desert.

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It's about creating a green economic corridor

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for more than half a billion people.

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Men, women, children.

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One that builds local value chains,

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strengthens economies and fosters a young, fast-growing workforce.

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And as an economic opportunity grows,

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hope for the future becomes a reality in millions of lives.

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And the space for terrorism, extremism, recedes.

04:48

The Great Green Wall inspires me because it is a journey

04:51

of the human potential.

04:53

Potential to amplify the deep knowledge of indigenous people

04:57

who survive and thrive in harmony with nature.

05:00

Potential to harness technology,

05:02

to connect and to bridge the renewable energy divide,

05:06

especially for women and for girls.

05:09

The potential to transform food systems

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in ways which make people and planet healthier.

05:15

So what's holding us back?

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What will it take for this potential to become a shared, lived reality?

05:22

It would be easy for me to say money.

05:25

So let me say it.

05:26

Money, more money.

05:28

(Laughter)

05:29

It's a big part of the solution.

05:31

We need to make good now on the handshake

05:34

that we had at Paris of 100 billion dollars.

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And that was promised annually.

05:40

Rich countries,

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let me say here and now,

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we are looking at you for the unfinished business.

05:47

You must step up, and you must do it urgently.

05:50

The other ingredient we need is solidarity.

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Sometimes that seems to be in fairly short supply.

05:55

But we do know it exists.

05:56

After all, it's solidarity that forged the Paris Agreement.

05:59

It's solidarity that got us the Montreal Protocol.

06:03

And there you see that the ozone layer is saved and our world is healing.

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But we need to rekindle that spirit and we need to do that now.

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It's not too late,

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but the window of opportunity is closing.

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Which brings me back to you.

06:18

You're the reason that I have hope.

06:20

Time and time again,

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we've seen that when people raise their voices,

06:24

that chorus becomes too urgent

06:26

and too loud for leaders to ignore.

06:29

That chorus for bold climate action is growing,

06:32

but it's in fits and starts.

06:34

Climate change doesn't pause, and neither must we.

06:38

Now, last I checked, every single person in this room

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and all those watching online,

06:43

teachers, presidents, shareholders, chief executives,

06:47

scientists, employees, mums and dads,

06:49

everyone on Earth is a citizen on this planet.

06:53

So now's the time to stand up.

06:55

With the courage of your convictions,

06:57

raise your voices yet again

07:00

and demand our leaders to take action

07:02

on the promise of a 1.5 degree world.

07:05

Friends, it's time to make some serious noise

07:09

to transform our world.

07:11

Right now, there's another young girl,

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maybe it's Kolu, maybe it's Aisha, maybe it's Fatima,

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walking on the shores of Lake Chad.

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She's looking out and wondering what her future may hold.

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Will it be an ocean of opportunity?

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It could be.

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Or will it be a wasteland of dust as far as the eyes can see?

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She's asking that question of all leaders who hold her future in their hands,

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and she's also asking it of all of us here today

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and around the world.

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The time for real action has come.

07:44

The choice is ours.

07:46

Individually, collectively.

07:49

What will you do?

07:51

Thank you.

07:52

(Applause)


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