23 January 2014 — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today praised the European Commission’s recent proposal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent, and encouraged other members of the international community to follow this standard.

The Secretary-General, who will be hosting the Climate Summit in New York this September, said his intention for the Summit is to provide a high visibility platform so that those who are ready to lead can do so.

“I want to spur a ‘race to the top. I want all leaders to be inspired and to define what they each can bring to the table. With this announcement, the European Commission has set the ball rolling,” the Secretary-General said at a joint press conference with European Union Commissioner Jose Manuel Barroso and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

He added, “I urge European Union leaders to put their full support behind this transformational proposal.”

The European Commission also announced it would increase the proportion of its energy provided by renewable sources to at least 27 per cent.

“We are now at a critical stage in the global conversation on climate change,” Mr. Ban said. “The global agreement to be concluded in 2015 offers us an opportunity to limit global temperature rise and underpin our quest for sustainable development.”

Mr. Ban also urged European Union leaders to put their full support behind this “transformational” proposal, and said he hoped that the Commission can turn it into a law before this year’s Climate Summit in New York.

“I also hope the Commission’s leadership will motivate all countries to aim high and come to the Summit with their own bold announcements,” he added.