|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
asian, pacific countries must be part of long-term solution to climate change,
Secretary-General says in message to regional meeting
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message for the High-Level Dialogue: Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific, in Manila today, 16 June:
Mr. Haruhiko Kuroda, President of the Asian Development Bank,
Dr. R.K. Pachauri,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This is the year of climate change. In December, Government negotiators will meet to seal a deal in Copenhagen. Your contribution is essential.
We understand as never before the scale and pace of climate change. We are also seeing its effects. Asia’s shrinking glaciers threaten water supplies and food security for hundreds of millions of people. Rising sea levels could inundate many of the region’s islands and cities. Other areas face desertification and land degradation.
A deal in Copenhagen must address these issues. Many countries need help to adapt to inevitable changes. A deal in Copenhagen must also address the causes of climate change. Global greenhouse gas emissions must decline.
This region is home to half the world’s population. Your economies are growing fast. Greenhouse gas emissions are rising. We must find a way to de-link the two. This is why I am calling for a Global Green New Deal to spread clean energy technologies. It can also create jobs and help us reverse this economic downturn.
We must also reverse environmental degradation. I am particularly looking to Copenhagen to help us to protect tropical forests. Left standing, they can absorb significant amounts of carbon. Allowed to fall, they become part of the climate problem.
As we look forward to Copenhagen, I have a simple message for the countries of Asia and the Pacific. You must be part of the long-term solution. You must help us seal a deal that addresses mitigation, adaptation, financing and governance. A deal that is ambitious, comprehensive and fair.
I am heartened by the positive signals I am receiving from the region. I trust this meeting will help to take us closer to our goals in Copenhagen, and I wish you every success.
* *** *For information media • not an official record