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UNITED NATIONS
NATIONS UNIES
THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
-REMARKS AT UNITED NATIONS CHIEF EXECUTIVES BOARD
HIGH-LEVEL EVENT
Warsaw, 19 October 2013
President of the COP and Minister Korolec,
Distinguished Heads of State and Government,
Excellencies,
UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Ms. Christina Figueres,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased to join you.
I would like to mention from the start that my heart goes out to those people in the
Philippines struggling to overcome the devastating aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.
This catastrophe has once again demonstrated our vulnerability to a changing climate.
It also illustrates the close links between the economic, social and environmental
dimensions of sustainable development.
The science is clear.
Extreme weather events are growing more frequent and severe.
The poor are hit first and worst but no community, nation or economy is immune.
I recently returned from visiting the Sahel with World Bank President Dr. Jim Kim.
The region has suffered three major droughts in less than a decade.
Climate change is affecting food production, water availability, health and
livelihoods.
More than 11 million people are at risk.
Every region has its tale to tell.
We must act urgently and decisively.
And we must recognize that our greatest challenge is also our greatest opportunity.
The inter-related post-2015 development and climate processes present an
unprecedented chance to usher in a low-carbon economy and advance sustainable
development.
Acted on together, these processes can provide prosperity and security for this and
future generations.
Both will be instrumental in scaling up national and local climate actions and
investment.
Both can solidify what has been achieved under the Millennium Development Goals
and lay the foundations for further progress on eradicating extreme poverty in all its
forms.
Both can advance inclusive economic growth, and human and environmental wellbeing.
The benefits range from energy independence, cleaner air and improved public health
to new markets, decent jobs and women’s empowerment.
The 29 organizations of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for
Coordination are committed to supporting countries as they work to seize this
opportunity.
We are working with countries, civil society and the private sector.
We are also working on ‘Greening the Blue’.
A critical mass of UN organisations have taken concrete steps towards a systematic
approach to reduce their footprint.
Some have climate neutral policies, combining reduction measures and purchasing
Certified Emissions Reductions.
As of May 2012, all electricity used on the Secretariat campus and some of the other
buildings occupied by the UN in New York is provided from wind.
In addition to reducing emissions, the UN system is also supporting many countries
and communities to adapt to the effects of climate change and increase their
resilience.
For example, UN agencies are working with governments, civil society and the
private sector to foster "climate smart" rural development that seeks to enable farmers
to grow more food even as the climate is changing.
We are supporting essential disaster preparedness, and risk reduction, and a global
framework for climate services.
Everyone has a role to play in mitigation and adaptation.
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We must also work together to build momentum for an ambitious climate agreement
in Paris in 2015.
Next September I will host a solutions-focused Climate Summit.
I am inviting Heads of State and Government along with leaders from business,
finance and civil society to bring their ambition, commitments and actions.
The Summit presents a unique chance to leverage unprecedented financial, political
and organizational capital to spur a transformational development surge.
It is an opportunity to demonstrate that the solutions to the climate challenge exist.
Let us build on the initiatives discussed here today.
Let us innovate, scale-up and cooperate to make the global transformation we need for
a sustainable future for people and the planet.
Thank you.
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