20 November 2013

Secretary-General's remarks at COP19 Momentum for Change event

I am pleased to join you at this important event, and I thank the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change for organizing this.

Every day, we see evidence that our climate is changing and the impacts are accelerating.

The science is clear, and human activities are the principal cause.

Ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising and the oceans are becoming more acidic.

Extreme weather events are more frequent and severe.

I am deeply saddened by the devastating impacts of the recent Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, one of the most powerful typhoons to ever make landfall in that country.

Climate change harms the poor first and worst, but all are being affected.

A drought in one part of the world can send food prices up and stock markets down across the globe.

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

Momentum for Change illuminates local efforts to address the impacts of climate change.

The Lighthouse Activities showcased today may have originated in different cultures, but they have much in common.

Each has recognized the threat that climate change poses both to people and the planet -- and has responded by taking immediate concrete action.

Each project is showing real results.

Each has involved strong community engagement and substantial public-private partnership.

Collectively, these initiatives are delivering profound social and environmental benefits and demonstrating the potential for long-term transformational change.

They deserve to be scaled up and replicated.

Let us be inspired and motivated by these stories of urban poor creating climate solutions, women leading for results, and innovative financing for climate.

Momentum for Change shows that sustainable change is achievable.

I call on Governments to take inspiration from Momentum for Change.

Make the difficult compromises necessary in these UNFCCC climate negotiations.

Take the urgent action needed to address climate change at home and abroad.

Invest in a safer tomorrow today. I thank you for your commitment.

Thank you.