Ban Ki-moon's speeches


Opening remarks at media encounter at UN Climate Change Conference

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Copenhagen (Denmark), 19 December 2009

Good morning ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to see you at the conclusion of this very important meeting on climate change.

We have had a long and exhausting couple of days.

We talked all Thursday and Friday night and delegations are still discussing this issue.

Finally we sealed the deal. And it is a real deal.

Bringing world leaders to the table paid off.

I would like to thank Prime Minister Rasmussen, Minister Hedegaard and the Government and people of Denmark for hosting this conference and helping the negotiations to a successful conclusion.

The Copenhagen Accord may not be everything that everyone hoped for.

But this decision of the Conference of Parties is a new beginning, an essential beginning.

At the Summit I convened in September, I laid out four benchmarks for success for this conference.

We have achieved results on each.

All countries have agreed to work toward a common, long-term goal to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius.

Many governments have made important commitments to reduce or limit emissions.

Countries have achieved significant progress on preserving forests.

Countries have agreed to provide comprehensive support to the most vulnerable to cope with climate change.

The deal is backed by money and the means to deliver it. Up to thirty billion dollars has been pledged for adaptation and mitigation. Countries have backed the goal of mobilizing $100 billion dollars a year by 2020 for developing countries.

We have convergence on transparency and an equitable global governance structure that addresses the needs of developing countries.

The countries that stayed on the periphery of the Kyoto process are now at the heart of global climate action.

We have the foundation for the first truly global agreement that will limit and reduce greenhouse gas emission, support adaptation for the most vulnerable, and launch a new era of green growth.

Going forward, we have three tasks.

First, we need to turn this agreement into a legally binding treaty.

I will work with world leaders over the coming months to make this happen.

Second, we must launch the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund.

The UN system will work to ensure that it can immediately start to deliver immediate results to people in need and jump-start clean energy growth in developing countries.

Third, we need to pursue the road of higher ambition. We must turn our back on the path of least resistance.

Current mitigation commitments fail to meet the scientific bottom line.

We still face serious consequences.

So, while I am satisfied that we have a deal here in Copenhagen, I am aware that it is just the beginning.

It will take more than this to definitively tackle climate change.

But it is a step in the right direction.

Thank you very much.