Ban set to address leaders in Abu Dhabi weighting action on climate change

A view of the Middelgruden offshore wind farm. The wind farm was developed off the Danish coast in 2000 and consists of 20 turbines. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

3 May 2014 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will address a range of stakeholders from Government, business and civil society gathering this weekend in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to chart new routes for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and strengthening climate resilience ahead of a UN climate change summit in September.

Mr. Ban, who has declared climate change one of the most pressing issues facing the international community, will attend the two-day “Abu Dhabi Ascent”, which opens Sunday and aims to build momentum ahead of his Climate Summit, set for 23 September at UN Headquarters in New York.

In Abu Dhabi, some 1,000 participants are expected to discuss how to take concrete action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance resilience to climate change. Mr. Ban will hold talks with Government officials and representatives from a wide range of groups, including business, finance and civil society. He is also expected to visit the Shams Solar Power Plant.

The Abu Dhabi Ascent is the only international meeting to prepare for the Climate Summit, which aims to mobilize political will for climate action and catalyze initiatives driven by Governments, the private sector and civil society that will target critical areas where climate action is needed.

This will be the first international meeting to draw on the conclusions of the recently issued reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which found that the consequences of climate change are already being felt in every continent, and that while present action is insufficient, there are still pathways toward a low carbon future that could minimize the phenomenon's impacts. Action now, said the report, is necessary in order to avoid much higher costs in the future.

Participants in the Ascent will learn about the various opportunities to engage in a range of initiatives aimed at expanding the use of renewable energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing smart agricultural practices, cleaner transport, improving city infrastructure, reducing carbon pollutants, and increasing financing for climate action.

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