The UN’s secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon has unexpectedly said he will join climate activists calling for strong action to tackle climate change in New York during the UN summit next week.
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Speaking at a press conference, Ban said, “I will link arms with those marching for climate action. We stand with them on the right side of this key issue for our common future.
“Action on climate change is urgent. The more we delay, the more we will pay in lives and in money.”
He also said he will join the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, speaking out for human rights, the environment and global hunger.
The UN climate summit will take place in New York early next week and is expected to bring forward the discussion over cutting greenhouse gas emissions in order to keep global warming under the internationally agreed 2C threshold, ahead of 2015 climate negotiations in Paris.
Ban added, “I’m encouraged that there is a huge support and response from the international community now. We do not have much time to prepare and to make everything ready a very meaningful global, legal climate change agreement, which should be adopted by at the end of next year in Paris.”
Ban recently appointed Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio as a new UN climate representative to address the opening, explaining he is “not just one of the world’s leading actors; he has also a long-standing commitment to environmental causes, including through his foundation”.
President of responsible investors Ceres, Mindy Lubber said the decision of the secretary general to join the climate march was an “important signal”.
Photo: Control Arms via Flickr