New York

21 September 2014

Secretary-General's Press Encounter at the People’s Climate March

I am overwhelmed by such a strong power, energy and voice of people - I hope this voice will be truly reflected to the leaders when they meet on September 23rd. Climate change is [a] defining issue of our time and there is no time to lose. If we do not take action now, we will have to pay much more. They have raised their voice, they have shown their power to change the mind set of people and I hope that this power will help -- and the heat will help -- cool the global temperature rise within 2 degree Centigrade.

While marching with the people, I felt that I had become a Secretary-General of the people. I am the Secretary-General of the United Nations; I am now working for the people. Let’s work together to make this planet earth environmentally sustainable so that our succeeding generations – children after children – will live peacefully.

There is no Plan B because we do not have planet B. We have to work and galvanize our action. Thank you for your action and your power to change.

I am very much grateful for Mayor [Bill] de Blasio’s strong commitment to make New York City a model -- by [making] climate neutral public or office buildings by 2025, and 80 per cent climate neutral by 2050. I strongly support and welcome his initiative and leadership.