In India, UN chief commends country’s leadership on climate change

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) meets with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee. UN Photo/Mark Garten

13 January 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today before departing India met with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar to discuss India’s leading role in climate change reform.

Speaking to reporters after planting a tree at the Ministry of the Environment, Mr. Ban said that he is counting India’s continuing leadership role in the global effort to address climate change. He welcomed India’s use of innovative technologies, such as the Canal Top Solar Power Plant, which he inaugurated this past Sunday on a visit to Gujarat.

“Nature does not wait for us. Nature does not negotiate with us,” he said, emphasizing that it is up to people to make sure that the world is environmentally sustainable.

Mr. Ban commended the leadership roles of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Environment Minister Javadekar and said he counted on the country’s ongoing efforts to tackle climate change – a “defining issue of our times.”

Recalling his visit to Gujarat, while attending the Vibrant Gujarat Summit meeting, Mr. Ban underlined the importance of using innovative technologies. He also welcomed the Government’s ‘100 Smart Cities’ initiative.

Calling it a moral and political responsibility, the Secretary-General said that young people today are looking to leaders to make the future sustainable for all.

“I hope many countries in the world will emulate such leadership. At the same time I expect, as one of the most critically important Member States of the UN and one of the fastest growing economies, India should lead this campaign to address climate change so that we will be able to have a universal and meaningful climate change agreement in Paris in December.”

The Secretary-General and President Mukherjee also discussed Security Council reform, sustainable development as well as terrorism.

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