Scientists and intellectuals 'key to new green economy,' Ban says

17 August 2009

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told an academic forum in Seoul today that scientific and intellectual leadership is the key to creating the new green economy of the 21st century.

“Universities such as yours are founts of ideas and innovation,” Mr. Ban said to the University Presidents' Forum on Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Asia and Africa, held at Korea University.

“Tell your university students, your colleagues, your political leaders: we must seize this once-in-a-generation chance? We need to put the best minds – our best young minds, particularly – to work in generating climate solutions.”

Mr. Ban called for a “robust intellectual debate” on how to limit global temperature increase and on how to transform the world's economy toward low-emissions growth. He added that world leaders must “go to Copenhagen in December and make it real.”

“They must seal a deal in the name of humankind,” Mr. Ban said.

The Secretary-General also stressed the importance of addressing climate change during talks today with the mayor in his hometown, Chungju.

Yesterday, in Seoul, the Secretary-General met the Republic of Korea's Unification Minister for talks on inter-Korean relations, and on the UN's humanitarian work in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).


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Rise in gas emissions must be contained to avoid global disaster, says Ban

With 118 days left until the start of the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen, where nations are aiming to conclude a new pact to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today warned that the rise in the release of gases must be reversed in less than 10 years to avert a global catastrophe.