Secretary-General Stresses Urgency of Climate Change Adaptation During Visit to Mongolia

27 July 2009: Speaking in Ulaanbaatar during his official visit to Mongolia, and in the presence of the Mongolian President, the Foreign Minister and the Vice Speaker of Parliament, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the urgency of climate adaptation measures for the most vulnerable.

He stated that “We must get very serious about adaptation and we must do so now. There is no time for delay.” Noting that those who suffer the most from the negative impacts of climate change are those who have contributed the least to the phenomenon and cannot afford to address it, he urged developed countries to contribute to transitional funding arrangements and to other mechanisms for providing urgent support they need.

He expanded upon the current impacts of climate change in Mongolia, as well as in developed and developing countries alike, highlighting the problems of desertification and water scarcity. Ban summed up: “The point is clear: the climate is changing and so, therefore, must we.” He urged transforming economies, making the transition to a low carbon economy, and strengthening our adaptive ability.

He then referred to the upcoming climate change conference in Copenhagen in December, and explained that climate change adaptation will require: more detailed scientific data on climate impacts, particularly at the regional and national levels; resources for developing countries to adapt; the “greening” of development efforts; and the reduction of disaster risks wherever possible. He concluded by stating that “We will all need to adapt. Ultimately we will all benefit from adaptation. Climate change carries no passport. And no country is immune.” [The speech]