Only by acting together will world leaders transform the climate challenge into an opportunity to fundamentally rethink how we grow our economies and create a safer, healthier, more liveable world, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.
“I look around and can clearly see efforts to create this alliance taking shape,” said Mr. Ban in his remarks to the Heads of State segment at the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, known also as the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20).
“That circle of action must continue to grow. Governments as well as business, finance, civil society, academia and all sectors must join forces,” he added.
COP 20, which opened on 1 December, brings together the 196 Parties to the UNFCCC, which is the parent treaty of the landmark 1997 Kyoto Protocol, in an attempt to hammer out the new universal treaty, which would enter force by 2020. The Conference wraps up this Friday.
Last week, Mr. Ban presented to the General Assembly his report on the post-2015 agenda entitled “The Road to Dignity by 2030,” which today he said has been received with positive feedback from Member States.
“We can end poverty. Transform our economies. And protect both people and the planet. Poverty eradication and environmental sustainability go hand in hand,” the UN chief said.
But we cannot eliminate poverty and build sustainable economies without strengthening climate resilience and utilizing cleaner, safer sources of energy, he added. We cannot fully meet the climate challenge without enhancing prosperity, equity and environmental protection for all.
With the Lima Conference ending on Friday, Mr. Ban called for a draft negotiating text that can serve as the foundation for a meaningful, universal climate agreement next year in Paris.
This agreement needs to contribute to placing the world on a pathway that keeps average global temperature rise below 2ºC above the pre-Industrial stage – the safety threshold scientists say could prevent climate change from “spinning out of control.”
The Secretary-General said he was encouraged that yesterday the Green Climate Fund crossed the $10 billion initial capitalization goal and that the additional pledges from developing countries today have sent a “powerful signal to the world.”
“Let’s make Lima, COP 20, a place we write our history and we reaffirm our commitment to make this world better world for all,” he added.