Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Opening remarks at joint press conference with Martin Lidegaard, Denmark's Minister of Climate, Energy and Building

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Copenhagen (Denmark), 23 October 2013

Good morning, God dag,

It is a great pleasure to see you early in the morning. We start very early in the morning.

My visit to Denmark has been extremely valuable on many issues, but most of all, on advancing action on climate change and sustainable development.

I have had very good, intensive discussions with Prime Minister [Helle] Thorning-Schmidt, Minister [Martin] Lidegaard, Minister [Christian] Friis-Bach, and other business community leaders. Yesterday we had a very good meeting with Minister Lidegaard. Thank you for your leadership and commitment on climate change and sustainable environment. Yesterday, I met with finance and pension fund leaders and participated in the Global Green Growth Forum, 3GF.

Later today, I will speak on climate financing and I will help launch our global Energy Efficiency Hub here in Copenhagen.

This hub is central to my Sustainable Energy for All Initiative that aims to vastly improve access to modern energy. When we launched this Sustainable Energy for All initiative, we laid out 3 ambitions. The first target is that, as I have just said, by 2030, we will provide universal access to energy to all the people around the world. As you may remember, there are still 1.4 billion people who do not have access to electricity. So we will eliminate all this energy poverty. Second, we will try to double the energy efficiency rate. And thirdly, we will double the use of renewable energy in the global energy mix. These are very ambitious targets, but I think this is doable. This is strongly supported by the international community.

It will work in both developed and developing countries to mobilize financial resources, disseminate best practices and expand networks among private and public stakeholders.

All these events are critical for building support for action on climate change and sustainable development.

We have three deadlines in 2015. The first deadline is the Millennium Development Goals. We must meet the targets of the Millennium Development Goals by the end of 2015.

Secondly, we expect that member states will define and establish a post-2015 development agenda with poverty eradiation at the centre and with sustainable development as its guide. The third target. As you know well, the main purpose of my visit to Denmark is to raise the level of ambition for climate change. We have to have a global legal climate change agreement by 2015. So these are three important deadlines for international community to meet by 2015.

The agenda’s goal will be to eradicate extreme poverty.

Sustainable development will be its guide and principle.

How we produce, use, save and share energy will be critical to success on sustainable development and addressing climate change.

Next year, I will host a Climate Change Summit meeting in September on the margins of the General Assembly next year. I am inviting all government leaders, business leaders and civil society leaders, so it is not only a governmental meeting; this is open to the whole international community.

I will ask leaders of governments particularly to bring solutions and initiatives with goals, deliverables and investment plans. And I am also asking business leaders to come with the same ambitious level [of] investment plans.

I expect many of these solutions to emerge from the Global Green Growth Forum, and from the business and finance leaders who have gathered here this week.

I have challenged the finance and investment community to help make the transformation to a low carbon economy.

This is in the long-term interest for all.

Every day’s delay increases the risk to people and the planet.

We will count the cost in human lives and increased economic volatility.

But there is an alternative.

Climate action.

Investment in sustainable development can be a win-win for rich and poor people alike.

That is why, over the course of the coming year we should all do our utmost work to unlock the barriers to climate finance that exist across the global economy.

This week’s events in Copenhagen are part of that effort, and I thank the Government and people of Denmark for their strong leadership in this area.

I thank Minister Lidegaard for his leadership, and Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt [for] strong commitment and leadership in this regard.

Thank you. Tak.