San Francisco

26 June 2015

Remarks at Climate Leaders' Roundtable hosted by UNA/USA and the UN Foundation

Ban Ki-moon

Mr. Tom Steyer, Distinguished climate leaders,

I am pleased to meet with you today.

Climate change is at the top of the global agenda.

It is a key priority for President Obama and an issue receiving growing interest from Wall Street, as well as citizens, CEOs and cities – not least San Francisco.

I greatly appreciate the leadership represented in this room today.

The direct costs and growing risks from climate change are affecting the bottom lines of companies large and small, and influencing investor and corporate decision-making as never before.

There is a growing realization that the costs of inaction are far greater – and far more dangerous – than acting prudently today.

But beyond just smart risk management, there is also an increased understanding that acting on climate can benefit our economies – that it is a catalyst for building a clean energy future that’s good for air quality and public health, for business and for national security.

Countries are now realizing they don’t have to sacrifice growth to protect the environment.

The world’s three largest economies – US, China and the European Union – are all placing their bets on a low-carbon future.

Many CEOs and investors are moving toward more sustainable investments and business practices.

Those of you in this room realize this; it is why you are here.

An ambitious global climate agreement in Paris can put us on a much safer path will enable green growth.

US leadership is essential.

The Paris agreement, unlike Kyoto, will be a universal one, including all countries.

Importantly, Paris must provide the private sector with the clear signals it needs to move money and markets in a low-carbon direction.

If we are to put the world on a low-carbon climate-resilient pathway, both the public and private sectors need to take immediate action.

I would like to hear about what you are doing in your own companies.

I would like to focus our discussion on three important areas.

First, pricing carbon.

I would like to hear your views and suggestions on how we could advance these efforts.

Second, I would like to hear your thoughts on how the private sector can maximize the scale and impact of existing and future green investments.

Third, how can the private sector work with and encourage governments to adopt an ambitious, universal agreement in Paris?

We need your leadership, your ideas, and your resources.

Thank you for joining me.

I look forward to hearing from you.