Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Remarks at opening of "Momentum for Change" event

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Lima (Peru), 10 December 2014

I am pleased to join you for this year’s Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activity Award ceremony.

I thank Señora [Christiana] Figueres [Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change] and UNFCCC colleagues as well as our many partners for creating this platform to recognize the world’s leading lights on addressing climate change on the ground.

This is the third such event – and the third time I have attended.

Every year, the ideas get better.

Thank goodness they do, because time is running out.

Last month’s IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] synthesis report told us that human influence on the climate system is clear and growing, with impacts on all continents and regions.

If the world maintains its “business as usual” attitude, the opportunity to keep the global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius will slip away within a decade.

The good news is that there are many options and ideas to mitigate and adapt to climate change. That is what tonight is all about.

The ‘lighthouse activities’ that we honour this evening are a beacon of hope for the world.

They represent tangible examples of innovations already underway around the world to tackle climate change at the local and national levels.

The dozen winners we recognize have generated practical solutions that are delivering tangible environmental, economic and social benefits.

They are improving the lives of the urban poor….highlighting the leadership of women….promoting innovative climate finance….and increasing the use of ICT climate solutions.

Their bold ideas show the world how to help realize the promise of low-carbon, sustainable development.

They provide encouragement to all of us who want to see climate action become a driving force that powers our economies towards a more sustainable future.

As these winners have shown, now is the time for action.

It is my hope that these creative minds will inspire leaders to be more ambitious in their own policies and actions, so that together the world can secure a meaningful, universal climate change agreement in Paris next year.

I am pleased that yesterday we crossed the $10 billion threshold for the initial capitalization of the Green Climate Fund. This is an important milestone and down payment, but we have much more work to do across the board.

I have carried three consistent messages in all my meetings and encounters this week.

Negotiators should leave Lima with three key items in their suitcases.

First, clarity on the scope of what we call the INDCs - the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. We expect that Member States will submit their INDCs by the end of the first quarter, that's the end of March.

Second, the formalization of the non-paper into a draft text for the 2015 agreement that provides a solid foundation for negotiations.

Third, a clearly defined negotiating process for 2015. At the next meeting of the ADP [Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action] in February in Geneva, parties must move beyond procedural questions and go directly into negotiations on substance matters.

Addressing the climate challenge has been my top priority since day one as Secretary-General. Now we are seeing real progress and I'm seeing a very positive atmosphere in these conference halls.

If we work together, I am confident we can turn the climate challenge into an opportunity for a safer, more prosperous and more sustainable future for all.

Let us take inspiration from tonight’s shining examples and build a better future for all.

I thank you for your commitment. Thank you.