UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave the following address at the close of COP21 Action Day in Paris:
“I thank President Hollande for convening this gathering, and for France’s engagement as one of the co-leaders of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda, along with Peru, the United Nations and the UNFCCC.
I have been looking forward to Action Day because it is about the solutions we so urgently need. Today is about action by all sectors of society. It is about innovation and imagination; collaboration and partnership. It is about our collective future, and it is about hope.
Today, as never before, the stars are aligned in favour of strong, concerted action on climate change. The pace of climate action is quickening.
Governments, cities, the private sector, investors, and the public at large increasingly understand the grave risks posed by climate change.
They also see the tangible benefits to be gained by early action. These include economic growth, new markets, job creation, cleaner air and improved health.
Cities are reducing emissions and bolstering their resilience. Companies are investing in new, green technologies and scaling up use of renewable energy. Investors are scrutinizing fossil fuel investments, and insurers are beginning to integrate climate risk into their decision-making.
Last, and certainly not least, civil society is mobilizing as never before. Citizens, youth, indigenous peoples and faith leaders around the world are demanding action.
National governments are here in Paris seeking to adopt a new, universal climate change agreement. A meaningful agreement will set the international policy framework needed to scale up climate action by all sectors of society.
The Lima-Paris Action Agenda reflects many important initiatives occurring throughout the world. It showcases feasible and affordable climate solutions that demonstrate that the transition to a low-emissions, climate-resilient economy is under way.
I am pleased to see countries from the Global South developing new partnerships, and I encourage more South-South cooperation on climate change.
Strong climate action provides a powerful catalyst for global sustainable development. It is necessary for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Without climate action there can be no sustainable development.
The Lima-Paris Action Agenda is an integral part of the outcomes here in Paris. It will complement the new agreement and will continue to highlight the critical role of non-state actors transforming our societies.
Last year, I hosted a Climate Summit in New York. It gave birth to new multi-stakeholder partnerships and initiatives on forests, renewable energy, sustainable transport, resilience, finance and other areas critical for addressing climate change.
All finance commitments made by the private sector at the UN Climate Summit are on track to being realized. Moreover, billions of additional dollars have been invested since the Summit to support low-carbon and climate-resilient investments in all parts of the world.
The Lima-Paris Action Agenda builds on this progress. Together, these initiatives are making an impact. They demonstrate that we can reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency, build more sustainable cities, protect our forests and create a better future for all.
The benefits of technology and innovation can accelerate progress on sustainable development. I have appointed an Advisory Group of ten eminent individuals from civil society, the private sector and the scientific community to support the recently established Global Technology Facilitation Mechanism and its important work.
This week I also launched my resilience initiative.
I am committed to working with various partners on a range of multiple opportunities to scale up climate action. This will include a “Climate Action 2016” summit of leaders from government, business, cities, civil society and academia on May 5–6 next year in Washington, D.C.
This high-level gathering will complement ongoing efforts and catalyze concrete deliverables in specific high-value areas, such as cities, land use, resilience, energy, transport, tools for decision makers, and finance.
These are the areas that will help make a difference as we work to implement the outcome of the climate conference here in Paris.
We need to rapidly expand and accelerate climate action at every level – from the local to the global. We must go further and we must go faster in line with what science requires to limit temperature rise to less than 2 degrees.
The United Nations system will continue to support climate action in partnership with all stakeholders.
I thank you for your leadership, vision and commitment to building a more prosperous, resilient and secure future for all.”