As the United Nations climate change conference (COP21) marked ‘Action Day’ with dozens of events happening throughout its sprawling venue in the north-east of Paris, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the purpose of the occasion was to highlight solutions the world “so urgently” needs.
“Today, as never before, the stars are aligned in favour of strong, concerted action on climate change,” Mr. Ban told non-state actors and top governments officials, including French President François Hollande, in his remarks wrapping up the day.
“The pace of climate action is quickening. Governments, cities, the private sector, investors, and the public at large increasingly understand the grave risks posed by climate change,” he added, noting “tangible benefits” to be gained by early action, including economic growth, new markets, job creation, cleaner air and improved health.
Climate negotiators have been in Paris since the opening of the conference last Monday, seeking to adopt a new, universal climate change agreement, expected to set the international policy framework needed to scale up climate action by all sectors of society.
Earlier today, the Secretary-General had a busy schedule meeting with a delegation of United States’ Senators on the state of the discussions so far at the conference, as well as French and international parliamentarians at the country’s National Assembly, to whom he highlighted the key role they play in supporting an effective national and global response to climate change.
Prior to this, Mr. Ban attended an event focused on the Arctic, where he has been several times during his almost ten-year tenure as leader of the world body.