Paris, France

04 December 2015

Secretary-General's opening remarks at Compact of States and Regions Event [as prepared for delivery]

Excellencies, Distinguished leaders of States and Regions, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to be with you here in Paris at this pivotal moment in history.

Your shared commitment to sustainable practices and innovation are laying the foundation for a low-emissions future. 

Regions, countries and cities need the ambition and vision of local leaders like you.

You are providing solutions to the world’s most important challenges. 

And at this time, solutions are what we urgently need.

We have gathered here today to showcase your leadership. 

I encourage you to reach out and recruit your peers to join you.

We need more Governors, Premiers and Chief Ministers to invest in low-emission and climate-resilient development.

Today, I would like to highlight the Compact of States and Regions and the Under2MOU.

The Compact of States and Regions was launched just over a year ago at the Climate Summit that I convened at the United Nations.

It includes members who represent more than 220 million people and $10.5 trillion dollars in Gross Domestic Product.

The Compact is issuing an impressive new report here in Paris summarizing the actions taken by 44 pioneering states and regions to reduce carbon emissions.

And today, the Compact is launching a new global initiative called Regions Adapt in which its members commit to develop climate adaptation plans and report on their progress.

Then there is the Under2MOU.

In this, 57 state and regional leaders have raised the bar still further.

They are committing to reduce emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. 

This is the most ambitious commitment made to date from states and provinces worldwide.

It could be a game changer.

The collective GDP of these fifty regions amounts to over $5 trillion dollars, collectively representing the fourth largest economic entity in the world.

These international initiatives did not exist until September last year. 

Today, they are blazing a trail to a safer, more economically robust and climate-friendly future for a significant percentage of the world. 

I thank you for joining me today, and I look forward to a rich discussion.

Thank you.