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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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New York, 23 September 2014 - Secretary-General's closing remarks at Joint Conclusion of Morning National Action Announcements at 2014 Climate Summit

Distinguished heads of State and Government,
Distinguished leaders from business, finance and civil society,

I thank you all for your participation.

This morning we have heard overwhelming commitment to a low-carbon and climate resilient pathway.

Change is in the air.

The race is on, and you are leading by example.

All must act, and all must act together. You have said that genuine commitment and action by all is needed, with developed countries taking the lead.

You have announced a wide-range of commitments and actions to reduce emissions.

Many have cited that a low-carbon pathway and economic growth and development can indeed go hand-in-hand.

The European Union has assured they will adopt the 40% emissions reductions target this October, and substantial financial commitments to support climate action in the European Union and abroad.

Grenada issued a call for all island states to go 100% renewable.

China announced that it will peak its emissions as soon as possible and that it will double its support for the South-South Cooperation on Climate Change.

We have heard significant pledges of finance and resources.

Finance is the enabler of what we want to achieve.

This morning, you have acknowledged its crucial importance.

Private finance is out there, and public finance can be the lever to access it.

I commend the commitments we have heard to capitalize on the Green Climate Fund and meet the 100 billion dollar a year target for climate finance. Several countries in the ECOSOC Chamber this morning announced new contributions to the Green Climate Fund, notably the Republic of Korea and Denmark, and with others stating their intention to pledge.

And, of course, I welcome generous pledges at $1 billion each by the President of France and by the Chancellor of Germany.

Pricing carbon was also raised as an instrument to generate political and market will to cut emissions and to mobilize finance for low-carbon growth and climate resilience.

Many leaders from both developed and developing countries emphasized that climate change affects us all, but for some the challenges are overwhelming.

We must not forget the importance of increasing support for adaptation and the need to build resilience. 

Leaders have affirmed the importance of the UNFCCC process in this regard.

There are as yet still unmet expectations but there is still hope. 

There is overwhelming commitment to reach a meaningful universal climate agreement that keeps us under 2 degrees Celsius.

We need a comprehensive and durable agreement based on science. 

I commend the countries, both developed and developing, that have indicated their intentions to bring their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions well before Paris and as early as the first quarter of 2015.

As the President of the United States stated so well, “Some countries have a special responsibility to lead, but all must do their part.  That is what the United Nations is all about.”

The morning has shown the promise that the rest of the day holds, and the promise of our future.

Governments, the private sector, finance, cities and civil society are all working together to deliver the scale of climate action that is truly needed.

Let us build on this momentum through the afternoon and through 2015 and beyond.

Thank you for your leadership, thank you.

Statements on 23 September 2014