Amina J. Mohammed calls for 1.5 degree target by 2030 and long-term pathway to zero

10 December 2015

Amina J. Mohammed, Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning

PARIS: Climate TV spoke to Amina J. Mohammed, Environment Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and former Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning to the UN Secretary-General, hours after the new draft text was presented by the French presidency at COP21 in Paris.

The Minister said we should be aiming for emissions reductions that curb global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius – with a longer-term pathway to a zero temperature rise – in order to benefit from the “irreversible gains of climate change”.

In the live video interview, Amina J. Mohammed explains the interweaving nature of both climate action and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), describing decisive action to tackle runaway climate change as the “umbrella” for sustainable development.

In September, leaders of the 193 United Nations members formally adopted new SDGs during Climate Week NYC, which is organized by The Climate Group. Aiming to address the interlinked problems of inequality, hunger and climate change by 2030 through 17 key themes including access to clean energy, SDGs are widely accepted as the strongest international agenda to bring an end to global poverty that has ever existed.

Speaking of the big actions the UN has focused on this year including “the framing of the financing for development” and “the whole conceptual change to understand that we want to deal with root causes and not a band aid”, the Minister states: “Sustainable development is important to take the three perspectives of the economy, environment and our social sector.”

With the new draft text presented only a few hours ago Climate TV asked the Minister about its importance and what needs to be included to achieve strong, sustainable development around the world.

“This climate change agreement really is what reinforces the rest of [sustainable development] and enables us to make the actions that we need to. It looks at the long term environment and what we need in terms of a worthwhile investment."

While key 'sticky' issues remain in the text that directly impact sustainable development including differentiation and finance, ministers are now working hard in Paris to deliver outcomes that maintain the highest level of ambition. An aim of 1.5 degrees Celsius could be seen in the deal, but a compromise of 'under 2 degrees Celsius' is more likely.

In the interview with Climate TV, Amina J. Mohammed warns that climate change’s “irreversible gains will only happen if we can get our emissions” to an adequate level that will keep global temperature increases “to 1.5 by 2030 and a much longer pathway to zero thereafter.”

  • You can watch more of our exclusive video interviews with climate leaders and experts by following the hashtag #ClimateTV on social media.

Text by Clare Saxon Ghauri, video by Ilario D'Amato

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