Doha, Qatar

04 December 2012

Secretary-General's remarks at "Momentum for Change" event

I am pleased to join you for this important meeting today.  I thank the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change for organizing this.

I recall the expectations with which we launched this initiative one year ago in Durban.

One year later, here in Doha, we can report that there is momentum behind “Momentum for Change”.

Every day, we see evidence that our climate is changing – and that we ourselves have significant responsibility for this. 

Our consumption, our production, our life-styles, our technologies, our choices as consumers and policy-makers – all these are part of what is making climate change happen. I commend the UNFCCC for its efforts to reduce the environmental footprint of the conference, including through the PaperSmart initiative, and I thank the State of Qatar for its leadership on climate change, especially in the context of food and water security.

It is clear that climate change affects us all, from Manhattan to Mumbai. We are all part of the problem and the solution. However, climate change does not affect us all equally.  The poor, most vulnerable people, who have contributed least, suffer first and worst.

We need to move quickly down a low-emissions pathway to minimize climate risks and build the future we want – a future of sustainable, equitable growth that benefits people and safeguards the planet.

The film screened just now at this gathering provided an excellent overview of the Momentum for Change initiative.  It rightly highlighted the central role and efforts of climate activists.

The Lighthouse Activities that were showcased here today are delivering social and environmental benefits to the urban poor. 

These stories of nine excellent activities should inspire and encourage all of us. Each project has involved strong community engagement and substantial public-private partnerships.  Each is generating important results.

Real action is taking place on the ground, and these initiatives deserve to be scaled-up and replicated at an increasing pace.

Momentum for Change is giving us an opportunity to see with our hearts, and our heads, the kinds of responses we need in order to meet this threat.

I call on governments to make the difficult compromises in the UNFCCC climate negotiations, and take the necessary steps to address climate change at home.

Together, we can generate even more momentum not only for change, but for transformation.

I would like to sincerely thank and congratulate the winners of these nine excellent activities. These ideas, their contribution, may be modest. They may not be modern technology, but small, creative ideas can help deal with climate change. I hope that we all work together as building blocks for climate change,  to build a better future for all of us.