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UN Secretary-General Calls for Ambitious and Achievable 2015 Climate Agreement

bankimoon-warsaw11 April 2014: Addressing the Climate Leaders' Summit, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged leaders from around the world to take action. He highlighted that vision and leadership will be necessary to make hard political decisions on climate change action.

In his remarks, Ban noted that the "United Nations is not only sounding the alarm bells but also developing solutions [to climate change]." Ban pointed to both the hurdles and opportunities climate change presents, emphasizing that investment in new sources of energy, smart agriculture and clean transport can advance other goals, such as poverty reduction and fostering inclusive societies. Ban stated that the 2015 Agreement should be "both ambitious and achievable," asking leaders to invest politically and financially in the problem by taking actions like removing fossil-fuel subsidies and capitalizing the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Ban stressed the close relationship between meeting climate targets and advancing the development agenda. He underlined that the world is currently unprepared for the added stress climate change exerts on food and water systems, human health, and ecosystem services.

Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group, and Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), were among the many leaders that attended the Summit. Speaking to reporters after the event, Kim emphasized the threat climate change poses to economic growth. Lagarde added that a range of fiscal tools, such as tax mechanisms and carbon prices, can help governments allocate benefits to ecological systems through revenue collection.

The Summit was held on 11 April 2014, in Washington DC, US. On 23 September, Ban will convene world leaders in New York, US, for his Climate Summit 2014. [UN Press Release] [UN Secretary-General's Remarks] [UN Video Coverage]