UN Secretary-General Delivers Bernard Brodie Lecture: “Green Growth Will Power the Economy of the 21st Century”

2 March 2010: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivered the “Bernard Brodie Lecture on Conditions for Peace” at the University of California, in Los Angeles, California, US, on 2 March 2010. He noted the interconnections in today's global world, highlighting the global financial and food crises, climate change, and global terrorism.

On climate change, he acknowledged that California has “long set the pace on environmental activism,” and noted that it continues to “show the way on green technology, a clean-energy future and the regulations needed to make it possible.” Ban underlined that green growth will “power the economy of the 21st century.” On the controversy regarding the fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he recognized that some mistakes had been made but that stressed that “this has been exaggerated.” He emphasized that “nothing that has been reported changes the picture,” emissions are rising, the impacts of climate change are accelerating, and they are caused by human actions.

Ban then underscored the urgency to cut emissions, help vulnerable countries to adapt and build on the Copenhagen Accord, and continue negotiations under the UNFCCC. He stressed the importance of US leadership in the negotiations, stating that “Nature has set its deadline. Nature does not negotiate. It is we human beings who have to adjust.” [The Lecture]