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Secretary-General Calls on Countries in Warsaw to Act Wisely and Urgently

christiana-figueres-and-ban-ki-moon19 November 2013: The high-level segment of the Warsaw Climate Change Conference opened with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling on countries to rise to the climate challenge with "wisdom and urgency," paving the way to a binding climate change deal by 2015.

Underscoring the relevance of taking urgent action, the UN Secretary-General urged countries that have not done so to ratify the Kyoto Protocol's second commitment period. Moreover, he urged countries to step up on "finance, including long-term finance and the Green Climate Fund (GCF)," adding that achieving progress on funding for adaptation and mitigation would favor scaled up action on the ground. Moreover, he called on countries to meet their climate finance commitments, make stronger new targets and send the right policy signals to facilitate climate investment.

Ban emphasized that a large-scale transformation is required to stabilize the climate, affirming that current pledges are inadequate to face the climate challenge. He urged countries to agree in Warsaw on a comprehensive action agenda and lay firm foundations for the 2015 agreement. Pointing to the climate summit he will convene on Tuesday, 23 September 2014, ahead of the opening of the annual General Assembly debate, he said the meeting will seek to complement the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process and be a “solutions summit,” rather than a negotiating session.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres addressed the high-level segment underscoring that Warsaw needs to deliver on finance that enables a shift to low-carbon, a cornerstone for the loss and damage mechanism, increased ambition in the pre-2020 period and emerging elements of the 2015 agreement that define the "low-emission, post-2020 economy."

General Assembly President John Ashe also addressed the opening of the high-level segment, urging negotiators to be "realistic" given that "we have now entered the era of super storms, and the human tragedies and ravages that such storms and typhoons bring are part of our daily vernacular.” In this regard, he called for resolute measures and a vision well beyond the particular narrow interests that focus instead on the common good for all. [UN Secretary-General's Speech] [UN Press Release][UNFCCC Executive Secretary Remarks][IISD RS Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of the Warsaw Climate Change Conference]