New York

22 September 2014

Secretary-General's Remarks at Opening of Climate Week NYC 2014 [As prepared for delivery]

I am delighted to be back at Climate Week NYC.

I had the honour of speaking at the first event in 2009.

Over the years, Climate Week NYC has grown to become a valuable global platform for climate leadership.

It is taking on even greater importance this year as the world mobilizes to address the climate challenge.

Yesterday we saw a massive People’s Climate March.

Tomorrow, Government, business, finance and civil society leaders will gather for the Climate Summit.

More and more people understand that climate change is happening and that it is affecting communities and economies around the world.

New Yorkers experienced the risks of extreme weather and rising sea levels first-hand when Hurricane Sandy struck.

But there is another side to climate change.

We are being forced to do business in a new way.

By rising to the challenge, we can create a cleaner, greener, more prosperous future for all.

I welcome the Climate Week NYC Leaders’ Vision.

It highlights the tremendous opportunities of moving towards a vibrant, low-carbon economy.

All cities and countries stand to benefit from energy-efficient infrastructure and renewable power sources.

All will benefit from strengthening climate resilience and reducing risk.

All can benefit from putting a price on carbon and pollution.

Many technically proven, commercially viable solutions to the climate challenge exist now.

More are being developed.

As we will see at tomorrow’s Climate Summit, Governments, investors and businesses are waking to the vast opportunities of a low-carbon, resilient future.

I have asked everyone who comes to the Climate Summit to commit to transformative action.

The actions that we take today can open the door to greater opportunity, prosperity and dignity for every person on this planet.

That is why we must increase political momentum towards a meaningful, universal climate agreement in Paris in 2015.

It is why we must ensure that all nations can access the financial resources and investment they need to cut emissions and increase resilience.

And it is why we must all act – as individuals, communities, businesses and governments – individually and together to transform our world.

We need all hands on deck.

Climate change is the defining issue of our time.

Now is the time for action.

That is what the people marching in New York demanded yesterday.

It is what we will see tomorrow at the Climate Summit.

And it is what Climate Week NYC represents.

I thank you for your leadership.