In California, Ban Ki-moon hails local initiatives to foster energy efficiency
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in California on a trip aimed at spotlighting the issue of climate change, today praised the state for taking measures to foster energy efficiency and invited Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to United Nations talks on the issue this September.
Speaking at a joint press conference with the Governor at the San José-based Echelon Corporation, which develops technology to improve energy efficiency, Mr. Ban called for measures to foster conservation, renewable fuels and private market incentives.
“The UN's environment and development programmes play a lead role in crafting strategies for achieving these aims,” Mr. Ban said. “What's missing is political will and political leadership.”
Mr. Ban praised Governor Schwarzenegger, saying he “has demonstrated what a difference leadership can make.”
The Governor also hailed Mr. Ban for championing the cause. “You have called climate change the defining issue of the era, and so by making this the top United Nations priority I think is showing the kind of leadership that this really needs in order to tackle this big problem,” he said.
California has embarked on an ambitious program to limit greenhouse gases with the target of cutting 25 per cent of emissions by 2020. “This is a very bold and courageous initiative,” said the Secretary-General.
Mr. Ban pledged to encourage world leaders to embrace “a similarly bold vision – one that can be applied beyond this Golden State to the entire world.” He also invited the Governor to attend a high-level meeting on the issue that the Secretary-General is convening in New York on 24 September.
“It will be very useful for other world leaders to hear from your vision and your experience,” the UN leader told the California Governor. “Initiatives by individual states and at the local government level or individual government initiatives – they are all welcome.”
Asked whether he would accept the invitation, Governor Schwarzenegger replied, “Yes, of course. I feel honoured.”