Margarita Island, Venezuela

15 July 2014

Secretary-General's message to 2014 Special Pre-COP on Climate Change

I am pleased to send greetings to this important meeting on the crucial role that civil society can and must play.  We need bold and decisive action to ensure that climate change does not undermine efforts to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development.  Transforming the global economy and changing the course of our future is an imposing task.  But if we all contribute, the work will be easier.

That is why I have invited leaders from government business, finance and civil society to a Climate Summit at the United Nations on 23 September.  I have asked them to signal clear support for a meaningful global legal climate agreement in 2015.  We need a clear vision, anchored in domestic actions, for keeping temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. 

To that end, I have asked leaders to showcase what they are doing to promote the transformative change we need.  The world needs to see what countries are doing to cut greenhouse gas emissions.  By seeing what is possible, others can take inspiration and follow suit.  I intend the Summit to provide a platform for multi-stakeholder coalitions that will support initiatives in high-impact areas that will reduce emissions and strengthen resilience. 

I look forward to seeing you mobilized in September and beyond.  Everyone can be a climate change leader.  Citizens, networks and organizations engaged in concrete climate actions – from advocacy to research to implementation on the ground – can all contribute to the solutions we need.  Civil society has an unprecedented opportunity to shape our future.

I commend the spirit of this meeting and encourage you to become ever more active in our quest for a low-carbon, sustainable tomorrow.