UN Secretary-General at Summit of the Americas Outlines Impacts of Climate Change on the Region

© Fifth Summit of the Americas18 April 2009: In an address to the Fifth Summit of the Americas, taking place in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon referred to the impact of climate change on the Americas, from the shrinking glaciers in the Andes to deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon and the rising sea levels endangering the small islands of the Caribbean.

He also stressed the need to protect populations, including indigenous peoples, and to create financial incentives to preserve forests and the livelihoods of those who depend on them. Ban underscored the need for “visionary leadership” to seal a deal at the climate change conference in Copenhagen in December 2009, explaining that the agreement should be “ambitious, effective and fair,” include a cut in rich countries' emissions and support poorer countries' adaptation efforts. He underscored that by tackling climate change, we also deal with the economic crisis and create green jobs for green growth. [The statement]