On the Way to Copenhagen
It is a particular pleasure to have this opportunity to share some of
my thoughts through the inaugural edition of this bulletin – which I
hope will become a vibrant medium of communication and exchange in the
period ahead – as we each do our part to keep the promise we made in
Bali and to realize success in Poznań and then Copenhagen.
Our achievement in Bali came as the
culmination of years of hard work by many who grapple with the multiple
dimensions of the complex challenge of climate change on a daily basis:
scientists, economists, politicians, policy makers, technological
innovators, public servants and ordinary citizens around the world. To
succeed in Copenhagen, we must bring our best to the table in service
of a higher purpose. Time is short and the stakes extremely high.
commend the Parties to the Convention for starting work in earnest
during the Bangkok Climate Change Talks and for the progress they made
in Bonn. And I wish them all success at future sessions in Accra and
I have made it a personal
priority to ensure that the United Nations plays its full role in this
process, not only because climate change is just the kind of global
challenge that the UN is best suited to address but also because of the
clear moral imperative for bold, decisive and urgent action. We have a
duty to the vulnerable who contribute least to the problem but
experience its impacts most severely, and we have a responsibility to
succeeding generations. We also have an historical obligation to
successfully transition to a low-carbon global economy. In the last
century, we rose to the occasion to welcome the Industrial Revolution,
the technology revolution, and the era of globalization. In this
century, responding to the climate change challenge demands that we
harness that same resolve.
Nations system is taking action to support the Parties to the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on the journey
through Poznań to Copenhagen. In this effort, we are guided by the
Parties' wishes, as expressed in the existing agreements under the
Convention and its Kyoto Protocol, and in the Bali Action Plan.
continue my personal advocacy and action through consultations with
world leaders and other measures to sustain political momentum towards
a shared vision for long-term cooperative action.
have repeatedly conveyed the UN system's commitment to strengthen and
coordinate its work on climate change. Recently, all UN agencies,
funds, and programmes agreed to organize their work on climate change
along the lines of the building blocks of the Bali Roadmap. They have
committed to delivering concrete results in support of Member States –
especially through implementation in five focus areas - namely,
reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation;
technology transfer; finance; capacity building; and adaptation. And
they are also backing action in four cross-cutting areas that underpin
progress on each building block – science, assessment, monitoring, and
early warning; global, regional, and national action; public awareness;
and a climate-neutral UN. These areas were identified primarily in
response to the negotiation process, and in pursuance of the broader
mandates and capacities in the UN system. I expect to report progress
from this process in Poznań.
Raising public awareness among governments, businesses, civil society
organizations and individuals remains high on my agenda. On 5 June
2008, this year's World Environment Day, we promoted the message “Kick
the CO2 Habit: Towards a Low-Carbon Economy.” That theme was chosen in
recognition of the damaging extent of our dependence on carbon-based
energy and our belief that solutions are within reach.
I also pledge to lead by example. With the groundbreaking ceremony of the
renovations for the UN Headquarters in New York on 5 May 2008, we have
started the march towards a greener and more efficient UN. It is my
sincere hope that at the conclusion of this historic period of
renovation we will have facilities that are not only safer and more
modern but also a model of environmental stewardship. I know the chief
executives of all United Nations programmes, funds and specialized
agencies are following suit and moving towards climate neutrality in
their respective organizations.
are examples of some of the specific actions we are taking. When
different players – be they an individual, organization, business or
government – take action bound by a common cause, we are all energized
and our vision is brought that much closer to reality.
Our common priority is a deal in Copenhagen, on time, and in full. This bulletin
is a welcome way to keep us in touch and on track as we each do our part to meet our collective obligation to realize this goal. [Climate-L Bulletin]
Photo: Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General (Credit: UN)