Orenjestad, Aruba

27 October 2015

Secretary-General's message to Green Aruba VI Conference during the Aruba Sustainable Energy Week

It is a pleasure to greet the participants in the Green Aruba conference.  I thank you for your engagement in efforts to combat climate change, advance sustainable development and usher in an era of low-carbon prosperity.

The Caribbean region is one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change through sea level rise, ocean acidification, and the increased frequency and intensity of tropical storms, hurricanes, drought and floods.

Addressing climate change is essential for achieving sustainable development, promoting  economic growth, safeguarding political stability and ensuring food and water security.  Climate action can enable countries to be at the cutting edge of the 21st-century, low-carbon global economy.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted last month and the climate agreement expected to be reached in Paris in December of this year will be important tools for accelerating the transition to a climate-resilient future.

A transformative approach to energy lies at the heart of both processes -- connecting economic growth, social equity and environmental sustainability, and creating major opportunities for development and investment.
The Sustainable Energy for All initiative, with its three interlinked objectives on universal access, energy efficiency and renewable energy, provides a global action framework for mobilizing governments, businesses, finance and civil society to transform the world’s energy systems.

Small islands such as Aruba are blessed with natural resources for renewable energy, but they face challenges that make the transition difficult. Yet, many small islands, including Aruba, have risen to the challenge, and I commend those efforts, which have important lessons for the rest of the world.

I will continue to champion SIDS issues in the international arena, including in my engagements with other leaders from both government and the private sector.  The United Nations will continue to be your partner in maximizing the potential of renewable energy and building safer, healthier and more prosperous, equitable and sustainable societies.

Please accept my best wishes for a successful conference.