New York

22 September 2014

Secretary-General's video message to African Leaders Meeting: "Moving against the Tide: Africa Rising to Seize Climate Change Opportunities toward Water, Food and Energy Security"

I am pleased to send greetings to this important event on the eve of Climate Summit.

I have asked leaders from Government, business, finance and civil society to articulate a global vision for a meaningful, universal climate agreement in 2015.

We need action on five fronts: cutting emissions; mobilizing money and markets; pricing carbon and pollution; strengthening resilience; and galvanizing new coalitions.

I am already encouraged by the level of ambition being shown.

Many diverse partnerships have been formed.

Change is in the air. 

Now is the time to lead.

We need transformational changes to limit global temperature rise to less than two degrees Celsius.

If we are to meet this target, we need emissions to peak in less than a decade.

We must then reduce emissions aggressively and attain carbon neutrality before the end of the century.

I urge you to demonstrate leadership by announcing what Africa will do as a region, and in partnership with others, to usher in a low-carbon, climate-resilient future.

Africa is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

It stands to benefit greatly from climate action – both on adaptation and on mitigation.

Clean development will enhance water, food and energy security.

It will provide many avenues for investment, job creation and economic growth.

That is why I urge you to deliver a strong statement on behalf of the African Group at the Climate Summit tomorrow. 

As we look forward to Lima and onwards to Paris, your ambition can raise the ambition of all.

I wish you a productive meeting.

Thank you.