UN Secretary-General in Davos: Climate Change is “only one truly existential threat”

UN, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

29 January 2009: In two events delivered at the World Economic Forum taking place in Davos, Switzerland, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underlined that within the current multiple crises, climate change is the “only one truly existential threat” and called on the world's leaders to use the current economic crisis to launch a new Global Compact entailing a “Green New Deal.”

The UN Secretary-General spoke at an event titled “Shaping the Climate Change Message” and welcomed the Climate Change Communication Initiative, undertaken by the International Advertising Association and the Global Advertising Industry. Calling for a positive outcome in the Copenhagen Climate Conference, he underscored the need to “build a grassroots movement for change, now.” Ban Ki-moon highlighted the audience at Davos' role in creating a strategy to harness the marketing industry's innovation and creativity to help tackle the “great moral imperative of our era.” He added that the Climate Change Communication Initiative aims to explain, educate and ask for global engagement leading to success in Copenhagen.

In another speech delivered at an event on “The Global Compact: Creating Sustainable Markets,” Ban Ki-moon drew parallels from the Global Compact of corporate responsibility launched 10 years ago by then-Secretary-General Kofi Annan and urged participants to join a new Global Compact entailing a “Green New Deal.”  He underscored that the Global Compact provides an excellent platform to tackle the current global challenges, citing the example of Global Compact's “Caring for Climate,” the world's largest business-led initiative on climate change. Ban Ki-moon called on businesses to invest in the green economy now in order to lay the foundations to tackle critical long-term issues and help create a future based on a low-carbon economy – green jobs, renewable energy and energy efficiency. [UN Secretary-General's Remarks] [UN Press Release]