Vadodara, Gujarat, India

11 January 2015

Secretary –General’s Press Encounter at the inauguration of the 10 MW Canal Top Solar Power Plant

Q: I’m Meena Menon. I work with The Hindu. My question is on climate finance coming up to Lima. Do you think the world will commit enough money to the world that you’ve envisioned of solar energy, Especially since there’s only $10 billion in the Green Climate Fund?

Secretary-General: Climate financing is one of the most important aspects of making climate change a success. As you know, we are working very hard to have an agreement adopted in Paris in December this year. Member states have been discussing and negotiating to have robust, meaningful and universal climate change agreement for the last 20 years. You know that we have the Kyoto Protocol, which is less than half of the membership of the United Nations, which is not perfect. So therefore we have to have a more perfect, universal agreement. That is our strong commitment, and I am cautiously optimistic that the Member States are now ready to adopt it.

Then we have to mobilize necessary funding, and financial and technological support for member states. There are many in the developing world who do not have the capacity to mitigate and adapt. Without having all the developing countries on board so that they are able to mitigate and adapt, we cannot address properly the climate change crisis. Climate change impacts all countries: we have to make robust measures and mechanisms to address this. This is a very strong commitment. I have already been successful in capitalizing the initial funds of Green Climate Fund, with $10 billion dollars as of last year and our target is to have $100 billion by 2020 and thereafter $100 billion annually. This is our target.

Q: Sir, I’m Manipadma Jena from Reuters. On the same question I would like to ask you: you’ve looked around India – what will India and other developing countries do if the climate fund doesn’t come to them on time? Because there’s no time to waste and we have huge populations.

SG: India can play a very important role. India is one of the fastest growing economies and one of the biggest economies in the world. Member states have agreed that in mobilizing funds there should be CBDR – common but differentiated responsibilities. We have a common responsibility regardless of where you’re coming from, whether you are developed or developing countries, because climate change impacts all. This doesn’t recognize any borders, so this is across the one planet earth. But [when it comes to] the causes of climate change, then developed countries, they have caused much, much more than the developing world. Developing countries have caused the least, a minimum at this time. At the same time we should also understand that the capacity of countries addressing this climate change is different. Depending on while we respect CBDR, we of course expect what we call emerging economies like China, India, South Africa, Brazil – all these countries should also take necessary and proactive action as PM Modi is doing. What we saw today at the Canal Top Solar Plant is a very creative and a very impressive project. I hope that more developing countries emulate this initiative.

Q: Hi sir, this is Kundan Pandey from DTE magazine. My question is about SDG [Sustainable Development Goals]. We have not achieved few goals of MDG [Millennium Development Goals] and we are very far behind. So how are we moving to SDG and what are the lessons we are learning, and how can we [inaudible] that these goals will be achieved?

SG: As you know the Millennium Development Goals meets the deadline by December this year. We have been working very hard for the last 15 years. I would like to commend India in having made significant strides in meeting the targets of the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in lifting hundreds of million of people out of poverty, but still you have remaining challenges. And you have polio eliminated in your country and you have made very good progress in reducing maternal mortality and child mortality. But it’s true, we have to admit that most of the developing countries have not fully accomplished the Millennium Development Goals.

That’s why the Member States are now actively very seriously working to find another set of goals, what we say sustainable development goals. These sustainable development goals is aiming to address three dimensions of the world and our life – the economic dimension, social dimension and environmental dimension. It covers all spectrums of our lives. They have initially identified 17 goals covering all areas. Member States will begin soon real negotiations  [in the] coming eight months until September. Then in September when the UN will celebrate 70th anniversary during a special session of the UN, we expect the world leaders including Prime Minister Modi will come to the UN and adopt this long-term visionary vision for the benefit of the world’s people. The United Nations’ goal is to make by 2030, visualize the world with a life of dignity for all the people, where nobody will be left behind. This is our goal and I am optimistic that we will be able to achieve it.

Thank you. Dhanyavaad.