Seoul, Republic of Korea

20 November 2015

Secretary-General's message to the Second Seoul International Climate-Energy Conference: "On the Road to Paris and Green Big Bang"

It gives me pleasure to greet the Second Seoul International Climate – Energy Conference.

You meet at a critical moment.  In just ten days, world leaders will meet in Paris to forge a collective response to climate change. 

National governments have agreed to the goal of limiting global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius.  The climate action plans – the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions – submitted so far bend the global emissions curve downward, but much more effort is still needed – as soon as possible.

The transformation of the world’s energy systems is crucial for avoiding the worst consequences of climate change and setting the world on a more sustainable pathway.  Our shared duty is to transition global energy systems in the direction of cleaner, lower-carbon sources, and to ensure the decarbonization of the world’s energy systems well before the end of the century.

Your efforts will contribute not only to meeting the climate challenge but also in implementing the recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  This Agenda is a roadmap to end global poverty – including energy poverty – and to help build a life of dignity for all on a healthy planet.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reflect the important role of sustainable energy for societies, economies and human wellbeing.  SDG 7 calls for “ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all” by 2030.  The Agenda also recognizes the close links between energy and the other SDGs, including the goal on climate change.

These goals and understandings also underpin the Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

Thank you for your commitment to building a safer, more equitable and prosperous future for all.  Please accept my best wishes for a successful conference.