Speech by Wilma Mansveld at the endorsement of the Under 2 MoU with minister Rodriguez from California

Speech by Wilma Mansveld at the endorsement of the Under 2 MoU with minister Rodriguez from California New York, 27 September 2015

Ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome everyone, and thank you for coming to our mission on a Sunday morning. I’m pleased to endorse the Under 2 MoU and commend the leadership demonstrated by California and Baden-Württemberg. The MoU connects ambition with action – a key requirement for a new climate agreement. Let me explain why.

I believe we share a common ambition: as environment minister of the Netherlands I will do my best to negotiate a new global climate agreement. An agreement that is legally binding, ambitious and flexible. That offers strong support to developing countries – in the form of solidarity, justice and participation. And that embraces and bolsters the role of business and other non-state actors.

I strongly believe in the power of non-state actors, like cities, regions and businesses. They can make a real difference, by developing real-world solutions for cutting carbon emissions and building resilient societies.
This MoU is unique, because it underscores the action already taken. And based on these results, it presents an even higher level of ambition.

I’m impressed with the leadership shown by California and Baden-Württemberg in taking the initiative for this MoU. In July I met Governor Jerry Brown of California and Ontario environment minister Glen Murray. I was struck by their ambition and action – two crucial elements that deserve a place in a new global climate agreement. This MoU is a strong incentive for local and regional governments to join forces in climate action on the ground.

Supporting the MoU
Although this MoU is not aimed at national governments, they can still be part of the process. By endorsing the MoU, national governments can encourage non-state actors to take climate action further and discuss national measures to support these actions, where needed.

In fact, I’ve promoted the MoU with Dutch provincial and local governments and will continue to do so.
My endorsement is also intended to make an important point: that we should all help to tackle climate change, according to our means, and embrace opportunities to this end.
I’m happy to support the Under 2 MoU (and I’m in good company). I hope this will persuade environment ministers from other countries to follow our example soon!
Let’s present the Under 2 MoU in Paris as a showcase for turning ambition into action.

Thank you.