Category Archives: Climate Summit

Secretary-General meets with IPCC Chair

SG meeting with Dr. R. K. Pachauri (Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (today met with Rajendra K. Pachauri, the Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The two men discussed the latest IPCC report, which focuses on the mitigation of climate change. 

The report,  released in Berlin, Germany, on Sunday, states that global greenhouse gas emissions are continuing to rise at an accelerated pace and concludes that urgent action is needed to limit the increase in global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius and that action now and will be far less costly than postponing action for the future.

Following the report’s release, Mr. Ban issued a statement urging “all countries to act swiftly and boldly on climate change, to bring ambitious announcements and actions to the climate summit on 23 September 2014, and to make every effort needed to reach a global, ambitious and legal climate agreement in 2015.”

 Mr. Ban, who is convening the 23 September summit with leaders from Governments, businesses and civil society to raise the level of ambition, catalyze action on the ground and increase political momentum, has been using every opportunity to press for bold actions to tackle what he describes as the “defining issue of our times.”

For his part, Mr. Pachauri, who has headed the IPCC for 12 years, has voices his hope that the report will push government leaders to deal with climate change before it is too late.

“I hope these facts will – for want of a better word – jolt people into action,” he said.

Ban praises small islands’ commitment to address climate change

Natewa Bay, Fiji

Natewa Bay, Fiji

2 April 2014 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today praised the commitment by small islands in the Pacific to low-carbon development and urged them to continue their ambitious efforts to combat climate change and spur other nations to come to a binding agreement on this issue next year.

“Because you are on the front lines, you know that we are at a pivotal moment and that more needs to be done. You know that the world’s appetite for energy continues to grow, and the global thermostat continues to rise,” Mr. Ban said in his message to the Pacific Launch of the UN Decade of Sustainable Energy for All, which took place in Fiji.

While Mr. Ban noted that small island nations face special challenges such as rising sea levels and restricted markets and high energy prices due to their remote location, he also highlighted successful initiatives that are helping these countries achieve sustainable development.

“The Pacific Islands are demonstrating real global leadership in our shared efforts to make a much-needed transition to a new era in energy use and production,” he said. “Tokelau has become the first territory in the world to generate 100 per cent of its power from renewable energy, while our host, the government of Fiji, is demonstrating its commitment to support sustainable energy for all through concrete actions. These and other efforts are helping to point the way to a sustainable future.”

The period from 2014 to 2024 has been declared by the General Assembly as the Decade for Sustainable Energy for All and two years ago, Mr. Ban launched his Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which seeks to achieve three inter-linked goals by 2030: universal access to modern energy, doubling energy efficiency, and doubling the share of renewable energy, thus providing services such as lighting, clean cooking and mechanical power in developing countries, as well as improved energy efficiency, especially in the world’s highest-energy consuming countries.

“There are climate solutions with a demonstrated track record of success. They are feasible, affordable and they can bring economic opportunity that supports our sustainable development goals,” Mr. Ban said in his message, delivered by the Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, Gyan Chandra Acharya.

“I therefore urge your governments to continue to be ambitious as we move forward with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change process. Member States must deliver a global and legally binding agreement by 2015. Sustainable energy is also a central issue in discussions on the post-2015 development agenda.”

Mr. Ban stressed that the leadership of small island developing states will be crucial to advance on this issue and urged these nations to ensure that their voices are heard “loudly and clearly” at the Sustainable Energy for All Forum in June and at the Climate Summit in September.

UN turns off lights for Earth Hour 2014

1 April, 2014 – On Saturday 29 March the UN system participated widely in the 2014 edition of Earth Hour, a symbolic global initiative organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) encouraging individuals, companies, organizations and governments throughout the world to switch off their lights for one hour.

The UN Secretariat in New York City shut its lights down for over three hours.

UN Photos - John Gillespie

UN Secretariat in New York City. Photo by John Gillespie

Other participating UN offices worldwide included the UN Office in Geneva, UN Information centres in Ankara, Moscow, Rabat, the UN Office in Tbilisi where a candle-lit live music party was organized, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia in Beirut, and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

In the lead-up to the September Climate Summit Earth Hour allowed the UN System at large to demonstrate its commitment to support action on climate change.