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UN Secretary-General at Poznań Climate Change Conference Calls for a Green New Deal

L-R: UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo do Boer and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 11 December 2008: Speaking at the opening of the High-level Segment of the 14th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, taking place in Poznań, Poland, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the urgency to take action, and called for renewed global solidarity to tackle the financial and climate change crises, calling the latter “the defining challenge of our era.”

He stated that these crises provide the opportunity to invest in a

“green future,” underlining the need for a “Green New Deal” that will

fight climate change, create millions of green jobs and spur green

growth. He also underscored the need for a climate agreement, urged

delegates to show leadership and outlined some national actions already

underway to tackle climate change.

Ban listed the three objectives of the Poznań meeting, namely: agreeing

on a work-plan for 2009's negotiations; sketching out the critical

elements of a long-term vision; and “re-committing ourselves to the

urgency of our cause.” In concluding, he suggested launching a “new

Copernican revolution,” and making the conference a “moment when we

turned away from a past that no longer works toward a more equitable

and prosperous future.”

Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, also stressed that “there are

already clear signs of urgency,” calling on participants to lay the

cornerstone for strong action in Copenhagen by giving “new meaning” to

the term leadership. He urged delegates to provide “clear political

guidance” and show resolve, underlining that “the clock is ticking down

towards Copenhagen.” Recalling that a “breakthrough” was reached in

Bali last year, he said Poznań should make progress. He stated that

delegates should send signals to the world that they are ready to: put

in place finance structures to make the transition to a low-emissions

pathway; govern those structures as equal partners; and push towards

Copenhagen in close cooperation. He concluded by stating that, in

Copenhagen, delegates will have to fulfill the promise of the Bali Road

Map, thereby responding “to the greatest threat hanging over humanity.”

[UN Press Release] [UN Secretary-General's Statement] [UNFCCC Executive Secretary's statement]