28 June 2014

Opening remarks to the press in Nairobi

Ban Ki-moon

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted to be back in Kenya.

I thank President Kenyatta and the Government and people of Kenya for their hospitality. I had a productive meeting with the President today.

Yesterday I attended the closing ceremony of the inaugural United Nations Environment Assembly.

The ambitious first session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) concluded its five-day deliberations very late last night with 16 decisions and resolutions and a ministerial outcome document.

These decisions encourage international action on major environmental issues ranging from air pollution and the illegal trade in wildlife to plastic debris in the oceans and chemical and waste.

UNEA gave significant attention to the sustainable development goals, including sustainable consumption and production, and I know that its attention to ensuring the effective integration of the environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainable development will contribute to the shaping of the post-2015 agenda.

Climate change was a feature of many of the discussions, and will remain a top priority as the world moves towards a meaningful universal legal climate agreement in Paris next year.

To mobilize political momentum and catalyse ambitious action on the ground I am convening a Climate Summit on 23 September in New York for leaders from Government, business, finance and civil society.

One area where we can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as fulfil the need for sustainable energy for all is through the greater use of renewable energy.

Renewable energy is a dynamic market that is fast evolving and maturing.

Kenya is a leader in such innovative development, with substantial solar, wind and geothermal renewable energy projects.

To get the world on a trajectory to limit global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius, we need more large-scale projects such as Kenya is backing.

To do that, we need to generate hundreds of billions of dollars a year in climate financing from public and private sources.

This will be one of the priority topics of the Climate Summit.

Kenya is emerging as a leader in renewable energy policies.

It is also a longstanding giant in the word of conservation.

Millions of tourists have visited the country to marvel at Kenya’s wonderful national parks and reserves.

But here, and all over the world, wildlife is under threat from habitat destruction, conflict between humans and wildlife and from illegal wildlife trafficking.

As a token of my concern, and my support for the Kenya Wildlife Service, I have adopted a lion cub today, Tumaini, which means hope in Kiswahili.

But wildlife crime is not simply a threat to animals.

With its links to organised crime and even insurgent groups, it is a major security issue.

The same routes used to smuggle wildlife and timber across countries and continents are often used to smuggle weapons, drugs and people.

I commend the bravery of the Kenya Wildlife Service and park rangers around the world who risk their lives and sacrifice so much to protect natural resources.

Thank you.