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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

New York (USA)

08 November 2011

Remarks to "Friends on Climate Change" Group [as prepared for delivery]

Ambassador Lyall Grant,

I thank the Mission of the United Kingdom for organizing this breakfast.

I count on the Friends on Climate Changeto play an important role in injecting constructive ideas into the multilateral process.

Never has your inspiration and leadership been more necessary.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change called for global greenhouse gas emissions to be at least halved by 2050.

Yet, carbon emissions in 2010 were the highest in history.

Even climate sceptics have now recognized that temperatures are rising rapidly.

Our capacity to adapt is limited and is only viable in the context of effective mitigation.

How, then, can we prompt greater and more urgent action?

We face a serious economic crisis.

But even in these difficult times, we cannot afford to delay.

Nor can we ask the poorest and most vulnerable to bear the costs.

Governments will soon meet in Durban.

Unresolved issues are both critical and complex.

Effective diplomacy will be crucial.

At a minimum, Durban must complete what was agreed last year in Cancun.

But this will not be enough.

The Kyoto Protocol, the Bali Road Map and the Cancun Agreements are significant responses.

Yet none provide a solution they are neither comprehensive nor sufficiently robust.

In Durban, I expect governments to find a way forward for the Kyoto Protocol so we can make a broader comprehensive climate agreement possible.

Another key issue is climate finance.

Put simply, we need to scale up funding.

I welcome the steps by the G20 to build on the work of my High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing.

We must also, in Durban, launch the Green Climate Fund established last year in Cancun.

But it must not be an empty shell -- a fund in name only.

Governments must provide the $100 billion that was pledged.

This would be a welcome concrete outcome at Durban.


All the necessary elements for a robust climate agreement are on the table.

We will not seal this deal in Durban, but we can take decisive steps.

As well as action in Durban, we need action on the ground by all.

There is less and less room for delay.

Next year sees the crucially important Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.

It also marks the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.

Last week I officially unveiled the names of the members of my High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All.

I have set three objectives to be reached by the year 2030:

First: universal access to modern energy services.

Second: doubling the rate at which we improve energy efficiency.

Third: doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

Together, these goals can help to end energy poverty and catalyze a clean energy revolution that benefits all humanity.

They can complement and feed into the climate negotiations

And in the broadest sense, this initiative and the Rio+20 conference are opportunities to define a clear path to the future we want.

No single initiative can provide all the answers. We must make the most of all.

Together, we must make Durban a stepping stone towards a comprehensive, ambitious global climate agreement.

Experience in successful multilateral negotiations shows that we need a group of countries that is constructive, progressive and far-sighted? countries that have the political will and courage to find compromise solutions.

I will count on you to be precisely that. Please take these messages back to your governments and partners.

Thank you.