20 November 2008
Secretary-General
SG/SM/11943
ENV/DEV/1017

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL, ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE SYMPOSIUM, URGES REPUBLIC OF KOREA


TO RAISE STANDING BY PLAYING GREATER ROLE IN INTERNATIONAL MITIGATION EFFORTS


Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message to the symposium on climate change held at the Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST) on 20 and 21 November:


Prime Minister Han Seung-soo,

KAST President Rhee Hyun-ku,

IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri,

IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka,

Distinguished speakers and participants,

Ladies and Gentleman,


I congratulate the Korean Academy of Science and Technology on hosting this international symposium on climate change.


Climate change is an undeniable reality.  The science is clear.  Every day brings new evidence that it is happening.  Every day that we do not act, the problem grows worse.


Our response must be decisive and swift.  Otherwise, we will pass along to future generations even greater risk than we face today.


Most economists agree that the cost of inaction will exceed the costs of action by several orders of magnitude.


The United Nations is working hard to mobilize the world to rise to this challenge.  Our next test will come in only a few weeks, when nations meet in Poland for the next round of climate convention negotiations.  That meeting needs to send a signal of strong international resolve to reach a climate agreement in Copenhagen in 2009.


I am encouraged that Korea has declared a policy of “Low Carbon Green Growth” and that the country plans to use green energy technologies to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions.


Korea has industrialized only recently, and so has less historic responsibility for climate change than those which industrialized much earlier.  Nevertheless, I hope that Korea can seize the opportunity to improve its international status by participating more actively in international processes designed to mitigate climate change.  In this context, I eagerly await the announcement next year of Korea’s national target for emissions limitations.


This symposium is very timely.  It offers an opportunity for experts to shed light on the scientific reality of climate change and to discuss technological countermeasures.


I thank KAST and all participants for contributing to this vital global effort.  Please accept my best wishes for a successful and stimulating gathering.  Thank you very much.


* *** *


For information media • not an official record