19 November 2013

Remarks to media at UNFCCC Climate Change Conference

Ban Ki-moon

If you allow me, before I state my position on climate change, I would like to read out my statement on the recent terrorist bombing in Lebanon near the Iranian embassy. I know this has already been released but since it has been released in my name, I would like to announce it myself.

I strongly condemn the terrorist bombing near the Iranian embassy in Beirut which killed at least twenty-three people and wounded thousands more. I extend my condolences to the families of those killed, as well as to the Government of Lebanon and to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. I extend my sympathies to those injured.

Such appalling and indiscriminate acts of violence target every one in Lebanon. I urge all Lebanese parties to act with restraint.

I hope that those responsible for this attack will be swiftly brought to justice. I know that the international community remains determined to Lebanon’s security and stability.

I have just participated in the opening of the High-Level Ministerial segment of the Conference.

I am encouraged by the sense of urgency and determination to rise to the climate challenge.

We are now shifting gears on the road to a climate agreement in Paris in 2015.

The latest IPCC report confirms that our planet is continuing to warm.

Sea levels are rising and icecaps are melting.

Greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.

We are the first humans ever to breathe air with 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide.

Warmer ocean surface temperatures and higher sea levels contributed to the strength of Typhoon Haiyan and the devastation it caused in the Philippines.

This disaster is more than a wake-up call. It is a very serious alarm.

Typhoon Haiyan puts an anguished human face on our struggle to combat the extreme weather and other consequences of climate change.

It makes me even more determined to work for a new global legal agreement by 2015. This is our responsibility to future generations.

Our responsibility to the people of the Philippines today is to ensure they get the humanitarian assistance they need right now. The UN is fully mobilized. I have also recorded a special appeal with the French music star David Guetta. The video is up on YouTube. Have a look and be part of the response.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This conference is an important stepping stone.

Progress does not come easily.

In my remarks just now I called on all countries to recognize that addressing global needs is in their long-term national interest.

There are some hopeful signs.

Action on climate change is visible and growing, driven by science, economics and political will.

We see it from governments, the private sector and civil society.

Affordable and effective alternatives to fossil fuels are coming online.

Renewable energy makes up a growing percentage of new power generation capacity, and is expected to rise significantly between now and 2030.

Momentum is building, and I believe we can secure a universal, fair and ambitious agreement in 2015 if all Parties work together with a spirit of collaboration and compromise.

Next September, 23 September next year, I will host a climate summit at United Nations Headquarters to raise political momentum in support of the UNFCCC negotiations and to catalyze concrete action on all climate-related issues.

I have asked Heads of State and Government and leaders of business, finance and civil society to use the Summit to showcase solutions and bring bold announcements that will propel us forward.

Climate finance will be critical.

And 2015 is a watershed year. It marks the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. We have tools to establish a post-2015 development agenda and finalize a new climate change agreement.

That is why progress here in Warsaw and on the road ahead is so essential.

Thank you very much.