4 November 2013

Zero Emissions Achievable, Secretary-General Tells Oslo Conference, Calling for Greater Energy Efficiency, Universal Access to Modern Sources

4 November 2013
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Zero Emissions Achievable, Secretary-General Tells Oslo Conference, Calling


for Greater Energy Efficiency, Universal Access to Modern Sources


Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s message to the Eighth Annual Zero Emissions Conference, in Oslo on 5 November:

I am pleased to send greetings to the eighth annual Zero Emissions Conference.  The United Nations is fortunate to partner with many of you on initiatives that contribute to reducing emissions.

You meet at a time of historic challenge.  The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirms that global temperatures are rising, human activities are the primary cause and the impacts of climate change are mounting.  Three things are clear.  First:  the benefits of action far outweigh the costs of inaction.  Second, many of the technological solutions to combat climate change already exist or are rapidly emerging.  Third, the opportunities for national economies and businesses small and large are profound.

Over the next two years, the international community will develop a post-2015 development agenda with the goal of eradicating extreme poverty in all its forms and putting the world on a sustainable path.  In support of these objectives United Nations Member States are also working towards an ambitious climate change agreement that will limit global temperature rise to no more than 2 °C above pre-industrial levels.

Success in this objective will depend in large part on how we produce and use energy.  That is why the United Nations has developed the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.  We have three objectives to achieve by 2030:  to provide universal access to modern energy sources; to double the global share of renewable energy; and to double the worldwide rate of energy efficiency improvement.  To that end, I launched an Energy Efficiency Hub last month in Copenhagen.  I commend the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative to all those working towards zero emissions.  Universal access to clean and efficient energy is paramount for poverty reduction, gender equality, public health and mitigating climate change.

I also welcome your engagement in the Climate Summit for leaders from Government, business, finance and civil society that I am convening next September in New York.  The goal is to mobilize political will for a climate agreement in 2015 and to catalyse ambitious climate action.  The innovation and practical solutions that you bring will play a key role.

Zero emissions is an ambitious but achievable goal.  You are in the vanguard of a movement whose time has come.  I urge you to continue to build partnerships and generate solutions that can benefit people and the planet for generations to come.  I wish you a successful meeting.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.