UN Secretary-General Visits Greenland, Underscores Climate Impacts
26 March 2014: On a visit to Uummannaq, Greenland, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon observed firsthand the consequences of climate change. Accompanied by Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark and Premier Aleqa Hammond of Greenland, Ban expressed his alarm at how quickly the ice sheets covering Greenland have been melting.
Addressing the press, Ban said, "[C]limate change is happening much, much faster than we might think....We cannot negotiate with nature. A lot of disasters, natural disasters, have happened. We have to take action now. The time is now, and I'm very much committed to working with world leaders." Ban took the opportunity of the visit to highlight his upcoming Climate Summit, which will aim to catalyze new and meaningful action on climate. World leaders will gather at the Summit in New York, US, on 23 September 2014.
During his visit to Uummannaq, which is located several hundred kilometers above the Arctic Circle, Ban met with indigenous people and youth. He stressed in his statement that he admired the resilience of the people of Greenland, but that the world must do more to ensure their livelihoods, environment, and opportunities are not lost to climate change. [UN Press Release] [UNSG Remarks]