14 November 2012

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

Secretary-General, in Message for ‘Climate Reality Project’, Warns that Price

Of Inaction Will Outstrip Hurricane Sandy-related Recovery Cost

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message for the “Climate Reality Project:  The Dirty Weather Report” webcast in New York on 14-15 November:

Around the world, poverty is in decline.  Living standards are on the rise.  But, this progress is under threat.  Climate change is happening.  Now.

The evidence is clear:  disappearing ice; more severe storms; harsher droughts; greater floods.  The impacts will be felt first and worst by the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people — subsistence farmers, coastal communities, island nations.

But, no country is immune, rich or poor.  Climate change threatens security.  Competition for depleted land and water resources can spark instability and conflict.  And it threatens prosperity.  Failed crops raise prices for all.

Disasters cost lives and livelihoods.  Two weeks ago, Hurricane Sandy struck the eastern seaboard of the United States.  A nation saw the reality of climate change.  The recovery will cost tens of billions of dollars.  The cost of inaction will be even higher.

We must reduce our dependence on carbon emissions.  That is why I have launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative.  Our goal is clear — modern energy services for all people in all countries by 2030.

Clean, affordable sustainable energy is the foundation for the future we want — the future we need.

Thank you.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record