Co-chair Ban Ki-moon speaks at Munich Security Conference 2020

“There is a lot of arguments, a lot of problems and a lot of division in this world. Only with multilateralism, there are solutions.” – Ban Ki-moon at MSC2020

On February 13, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attended the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany. Ban participated in a panel discussion “Apocalypse Now? – Climate and Security” with stellar speakers and stressed the importance of mutual cooperation among countries and institutes for climate action.

Emphasizing the role of youth in the global movement toward climate action, Co-chair Ban said,

“The young people protesting around the world speak more sense than many world leaders…Without the activism and passion of youth, we will not overcome two of the gravest existential threats we have: climate change and nuclear war.”

Lamenting on the United States’ decision to withdraw from Paris Agreement, he also said,

“Paris Agreement is not perfect but is the best that could be reached in 2015; its implementation remains the best way of tackling the multifaceted threats posed by the climate change.”

He further continued and showed his concern toward inadequate action taken to cope with existential climate threats and said,

“I am angry we have to repeat the science yet again. Let’s not waste time with climate skeptics. The science is clear that climate change is happening, hast. IPCC brings together 2,500 of the world’s best scientists and their 5 reports make the facts clear: If we don’t address climate change, then I think we have no hope.”

Jennifer Morgan, the Executive Director of Greenpeace International, said,

“We have seen what they youth has done, but we have to take this forward. We have to shift the power dynamics.”

 

Helga Maria Schmid, Secretary-General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), said,

“It was under Ban Ki-moon’s leadership that the UN Security Council first addressed the links between climate and security.”

“We do have a Schuman Plan: it’s the European Green Deal. It is the transformative vision of the new EU Commission that is not only about reducing emission or leading energy transition. It’s about biodiversity and an alternative growth mode.”

 

Tom Middendrop, Chair of the International Military Council on Climate and Security, said,

“I would sacrifice my life for a world where we didn’t need a military…but climate is accelerating scarcity and frictions…that’s why we need the military to help build the resilience we are looking for.”

 

John Kerry, former United States Secretary of State, said,

“We need to declare a war on the war of science.”

“We are heading toward an absolute catastrophe…we need to behave like we are at war.”

During this conference, over 500 high-ranking international decision-makers gathered for Munich Security Conference 2020. Personalities from politics, business, science, and civil society will discuss current crises and future security challenges in Munich.

On February 14, 18:30 CET, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon will deliver a special lecture at TUM Speakers Series on the margins of the Munich Security Conference.

© Munich Security Conference / Kuhlmann

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s acceptance speech for Sunhak Peace Prize

Speech by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon

Sunhak Peace Prize 

Seoul, Korea

5 February 2020

 

Thank you for your warm introduction.

Dr. Hak Ja Han, Universal Peace Federation Founder,

Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation Members,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is my great privilege to stand before you this evening and humbly accept the 2020 Sunhak Peace Prize.

I’m incredibly grateful for this esteemed honor, and it is quite meaningful to follow in the footsteps of the previous luminary awardees you have bestowed this honor upon.

My special recognition goes to Dr. Hak Ja Han for her visionary patronage of this award, as well as for her longtime advocacy efforts in support of world peace, global citizenship, and sustainable development issues.

I also take this opportunity to commend the impressive work and forward-thinking vision of the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation.

The critical efforts by the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation are essential as we collectively strive to expand essential understanding, cooperation, and tolerance on the road to world peace and global sustainability.

In this connection, I simply couldn’t be more proud to receive this award intended to further the ideals of such a pioneering individual who so firmly believed in the importance of peace, human development, coexistence, and environmental protection.

My deepest gratitude goes to the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation Members for this very special honor.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our world is changing and this is bringing many new challenges and uncertainties to the geopolitical and economic order.

Multilateral cooperation is viewed with increasing skepticism just as the world needs it the most. Human rights are under threat as nationalism spreads. Development and humanitarian funds are being slashed.

And our climate crisis is deepening as wildfires burn, sea levels rise higher, and temperatures continue to surge.

Under this backdrop of instability and waning internationalism, I firmly believe that we must work together through expanded partnerships and cooperation, as well a driving commitment to global citizenship, to cope with these seemingly insurmountable challenges.

During my ten-year tenure as United Nations Secretary-General, I strived to execute my leadership duties by leveraging the power of partnerships and promoting the spirit of global citizenship.

This was critical in bringing the entire world together to agree to the UN’s 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Paris Climate Agreement.

These were two of my biggest achievements leading the UN as they provide humanity, and our planet, with a collaborative blueprint to ensure the future we want.

And global partnerships, including the active participation of nonprofit organizations, civil society groups, religious organizations, philanthropists, and other key stakeholders like you, are necessary if we are to deliver on the United Nations’ development and climate commitments.

But to establish long-term solutions, achieve world peace, and save our rapidly warming planet, we need inclusive and participatory action from all global citizens.

This includes, especially, young people, as they are absolutely essential to solving so many of the world’s challenges such as achieving the SDGs, tackling climate change, and building peace and resolving conflicts.

As such, I’ve been trying my best to help elevate global citizenship as a driving vision for young, transformative leaders to help us forge a more peaceful and sustainable world.

In this regard, two years ago I launched the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, based in Vienna, Austria to help provide young people and women with a greater say in their own destiny, as well as a greater stake in their own dignity.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The actions we take in the next ten years will be critical to ensure the future viability of both humanity and our planet. So we must work hard to illuminate true peace.

What type of peace? I am reminded of the words of President John F. Kennedy who said, “I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and hope and build a better life for their children …not merely peace in our time, but peace for all time.”

In 2020, the year of the rat, and beyond, we all share a common destiny grounded in sustainability, peace, and prosperity. Let’s expand our unified efforts to realize this shared destiny for all global citizens in the years to come.

I thank you for your attention and this great honor.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon gives a special lecture at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

“Nature is sending us a strong warning: we must listen to its voice. Nature does not negotiate; it does not wait for us. Unless we work together as one, we will never be able to fight climate change.”  – Co-chair Ban Ki-moon

On January 31, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon gave a special lecture on the topic of “Addressing Climate Change and Air Pollution in Asia-Pacific” as a part of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)’s Distinguished Person Lecture Series.

The special lecture was opened with UN ESCAP Executive Secretary Armida Alisjahbana’s opening remark.

“In Asia-Pacific, it is our historic opportunity to consider how we can be a solution-provider, raise ambition and take transformative action in response to the climate crisis.”

In his lecture, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon expressed his concerns on the gravity of climate change. To warn that we are running out to time, he referenced the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s report, which reported that we are left with only 12 years to make a massive and unprecedented change to mitigate the consequences of global temperature rise to its moderate levels.

Moving on, Co-chair Ban underscored the deadly health hazards resulted from air pollution as a global challenge. He said,

“There is clear evidence that links particulate matters to various illnesses such as respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and even cancer.”

He also referred to the findings of the World Health Organization (WHO) that 92% of the Asia-Pacific population – roughly 4 billion people – are already exposed to high levels of air pollution. He noted how these two serious matters are linked together and are like two sides of the same coin. He said,

“Not only they share similar emission sources, but they also influence and exacerbate each other.”

Despite the complexity of these issues, Co-chair Ban showed a sense of optimism.

“Fortunately, the close link between the two challenges means that collective action can maximize impact effectiveness. The intertwined nature of the two challenges also means that effective action cannot be pursued separately. Joint action is an absolute must.”

During his speech, Co-chair Ban commended the efforts and actions taken by the UN ESCAP in adopting the resolution on ‘strengthening regional cooperation to tackle air pollution challenges in Asia and the Pacific’.

Moreover, he spoke highly of Italy for taking the first step in making climate change mandatory in early education, and said,

“Last year, we witnessed the power of a single young person. After hearing Greta Thunberg, I’m emphasizing quality education on environment for young people. When they are educated, they will be equipped with leadership and ready to take action.”

As he concluded his lecture, Co-chair Ban said,

“This decade will be the final decade where we can turn the tide against the irreversible destruction of our climate. If we miss that deadline, ALL of us will meet the consequences. A ‘me versus you’ mentality has no meaning in climate action. Remember, that it should be ‘us versus climate change’.”

 

Watch the full lecture

Source Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future 

© UN ESCAP

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attends Brookings’ Alan and Jane Batkin International Leaders Forum

“We must educate the next generation in global citizenship. We must increase their understanding of climate change because they are our future leaders.”

On January 24, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attended and spoke at the Alan and Jane Batkin International Leaders Forum hosted by Foreign Policy at Brookings Institute.

During this occasion, Co-chair Ban addressed the climate threats and its implications, climate justice, and climate leadership. In his international leadership roles, Co-chair Ban has been a prominent advocate of bringing climate change to the top of the global agenda, promoting sustainable development and highlighting how environmental degradation has disproportionately affected people in developing countries, especially women.

Stressing the importance of multilateralism, Co-chair Ban said,

“A ‘me vs. you’ mentality has no place in climate action. It is about ‘all of us vs. climate change’.”

He also said,

“If we do not solve the problem of climate change we will all be losers. I urge President Trump to return to the Paris Agreement.”

“We need disruption. We need to get urgent on climate. We need a new sense of global citizenship”

He also called world leaders and young generation to harness the mindset of global citizenship to cope of global challenges.

Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland, said,

“The climate crisis must be the top priority for all leaders in 2020. It is not hyperbole to say that the fate of humanity as a whole rests on decisions taken this year.”

The event was opened with Brookings Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy Bruce Jones’ introductory remarks. Following remarks by Co-chair Ban and Chair of The Elders Mary Robinson, Brookings Senior Fellow and the SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies Jung H. Pak joined them on stage for a conversation on climate change, human rights, adaptation measures, and global leadership in the face of a climate emergency.

Climate threats and climate justice: Action and adaptation for sustainable development – Part 1

Climate threats and climate justice: Action and adaptation for sustainable development – Part 2

© Ralph Alswang / Alswang Photography

Mary Robinson and Ban Ki-moon make announcements at the 2020 Doomsday Clock event

“There is an opportunity in 2020 for the world to renew its commitment to multilateralism – to create the foundations for a just transition to a carbon net zero economy, and redouble our efforts towards a world free of nuclear weapons,” said Co-chair Ban Ki-moon.

On January 23, together with Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, who also serves as Deputy Chair of The Elders, joined experts from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists for the unveiling of the Doomsday Clock in Washington DC, an annual assessment of the existential risks faced by humanity.

The Clock’s hands were moved forward to 100 seconds to midnight – the closest to midnight they have been since they were first set in 1947. The decision takes into account the precarious state of nuclear arms controls, the growing threat of climate disaster, and how these can be compounded by disruptive new technologies.

“Our planet faces two concurrent existential threats: the climate crisis and nuclear weapons. We are faced by a gathering storm of extinction-level consequences, and time is running out,” Mary Robinson said.

Ban Ki-moon and Mary Robinson specifically called on President Trump to respond to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offer to open negotiations on New START, which will expire in February 2021 unless the agreement between Washington and Moscow is extended.

Following the termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in July 2019, the end of New START would mean there was no remaining arms control treaty in force between the United States and Russia, raising the prospect of a new nuclear arms race.

The Elders reiterated their proposals for a “nuclear minimization” agenda as the best way of making progress towards complete disarmament by the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and all other nuclear powers.

Ban warned that the threat of catastrophe is being exacerbated by attacks on, and disregard for, the multilateral rules-based system:

“The existential risks of nuclear conflagration and climate change are increasing just as the decision-making frameworks to address them are unraveling. From the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and the Iran Nuclear Deal to deadlock on nuclear disarmament talks and division at the UN Security Council, our mechanisms for collaboration are being undermined when we need them most.”

On the climate emergency, The Elders Chair Mary Robinson called for a change of mindset if the world is to tackle the threat effectively:

“The science of the climate crisis makes it imperative that we take urgent action in 2020.  We need a change of mindset in politics, finance, business and civil society, one that enables us to keep temperature rises at or below 1.5°C, whilst protecting the rights, dignity and livelihoods of those affected by the shift to a carbon neutral economy. Not to do so will be a death sentence for humanity.”

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon believes 2020 is a crucial year to defend and revitalize the multilateral system’s ability to address the threats of nuclear and climate catastrophe, as the world marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.

Source: The Elders

© The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Gives a Keynote during the 6th Seoul Climate-Energy Conference 2019

“The USA should return to Paris Climate Agreement…It is a political and moral responsibility of the US.”

On December 20, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attended and gave a keynote at the 6th Seoul Climate-Energy Conference 2019 held in Seoul, Korea. 

The 6th Seoul Climate-Energy Conference, under the theme of “New Climate Regime and the New Normal,” placed heavy emphasis on global climate change discussions and international cooperation. This year’s conference endeavored to redefine what “normal” is as climate change that has been accelerated by unpredictability in global politics and pushes the globe close to the point of no-return. 

Renowned experts from academia, business, industry and policy together reviewed the outcomes of COP 25, examined the tole of higher education in sustainable development, discussed big data as the newest source of clean energy, revisited the importance of the renewable-nuclear alliance, and investigated the prospects of engaging young generations in climate change discussions.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon emphasized the importance of getting support from political leaders to mitigate climate change effects and promote sustainable development, and said, 

“Every state should make choices for humanity rather than its own selfish national interests. It is the responsibility of sovereign states to engage in transnational cooperation and participate in global challenges.”

 

He also proposed a multilateral approach as a solution. Co-chair Ban said,

“Even a country with abundant resources like the US cannot solve such a multifaceted issue alone. We must act in unity to solve the problem.”

Co-chair Ban then presented an example of Bangladesh,

“In 1971, a fatal cyclone in Bangladesh resulted in more than 300,000 casualties. However, after devising appropriate policies to prevent future lose, the average number of yearly casualties due to cyclones dropped to less than 10. Likewise, if we implement proper measurements, we can adopt to climate change and prevent climate catastrophes.” 

As he concluded his keynote, Co-chair Ban said,

“Former President John F. Kennedy once said that we choose to go to the moon, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because solving climate change is also hard, we must do it and do it together.”

 

© Yonhap News

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler Attended FIA Environment and Sustainability Commission Meeting

Today, FIA’s Environment and Sustainability Commission came together during the Annual General Assembly that is taking place in Paris, France.

At the meeting, delegates discussed its aims to strengthen the FIA’s environmental sustainability credentials across its two pillars of Sport and Mobility by advocating for a cleaner, safer and more sustainable urban mobility as their core agenda. And this year’s agenda was on FIA E&S Commission’s support for UNFCCC’s “Sports for Climate Action Initiative.”

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler spoke highly of the role of FIA in the field and said,

“IOC and FIA are both important champions in this sport for climate action initiative…We are glad to see President of FIA Jean Todt, E&S Commission Chair President of Mexico Felipe Calderón and other high-level representatives of sports and mobility at FIA taking the lead on contributing to climate action in their respective fields.”

During the meeting, FIA’s Environmental Delegate Garry Connelly said,

“We need to be more vocal also about the positive contribution of motor sport and mobility for the environment and society at large: more efficiency for combustion engines, fuels, oils, less fuel consumption and other technological spin-offs.”

© BKMC / FIA

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Delivered a Welcome Message at the Opening of Amsterdam International Water Week

On November 4, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon gave a video message to welcome all attendee to Amsterdam International Water Week 2019 (AIWW2019) that started on November 4 and will last until November 8.

Climate change can be felt through its impact on global water supplies. Water availability is becoming less predictable in many places, and increased instances of flooding, storm surges, rising sea levels and droughts threaten societies across the globe. Safeguarding our water for all is a formidable task.

But it is also an opportunity to improve our ecosystems, grow our economies, boost agricultural efficiencies, tackle inequity and improve our well-being.

Water is not only a central sustainable development goal but also our recurring theme in all of the SDG’s. As such water can catalyze adaptation efforts across the sectors, ensuring our food security, energy supplies and well-being and building the resilience of our society’s economies and all of society.

Water is key to transforming our world and building the future we want. As a chair of the Global Commission on Adaption and with my fellow commissioners and Country conveners, we are working to do exactly that.

At a recent UN Climate Action Summit, we launched our commitment to a year of action, including on water, through the Climate Adaptation Summit in the Netherlands on October 22nd 2020, to accelerate progress in adaptation around the world

The Global Centre on Adaptation hosted by the Netherlands and as led by CEO Dr. Patrick Verkooijen stands ready to support the global community in its efforts. Through our water action track, we will by 2030 or since at least 50 countries to address climate risk in their water systems to help the billions of people currently facing high water stress. But we cannot do this alone. I am looking to you to help us achieve these goals. I am sure that international water week is a platform for you to progress much-needed solutions to the water challenges we face. Make no mistake. The meetings, discussions and networking you do this week are critical to the future of our planet. Only by working together we can adapt the world.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote speech at the 8th International Renewable Energy Conference

“Transition to clean, sustainable energy is no longer an option…Clean renewable energy-based green growth is the ONLY alternative to sustainable growth.” – Ban Ki-moon

Today, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon gave a keynote speech on the theme of the necessity of reducing fine dust pollution and the role of renewable energy-centered energy conversion in response to climate change.

“Mankind has artificially created a climate crisis in the course of civilization and economic growth. The transition to clean and sustainable energy is no longer a choice but a necessity in the face of threats to the environment and ecosystems,” he said.

Ban said the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Convention will be determined by the success of energy transition, and renewable energy such as solar and wind power will be more advantageous in terms of marketability and socio-health than existing energy such as fossil fuels and nuclear power.

During the conference co-chair Ban also addressed that,

“All countries in the world should make comprehensive efforts toward a sustainable energy mix. We, particularly, need to take active measures to maximize the share of renewable energy.”

“Today’s conference is very meaningful in that the international community needs to join hands and cooperate closely,” he added.

He also stressed the importance of cooperation among political sectors.

“Political will is important and necessary. Only when politicians show strong will can they achieve the goals and people will participate. It’s not the time to fight each other,” he said.

He also reiterated the need to raise awareness of the environment.

Ban stressed,

“Human beings should be humble. It is not known which direction mankind will go to, but we must adapt to nature based on wisdom. We should not act against nature, but rather we should work with nature to develop sustainable future.

The International Renewable Energy Conference, which kicked off Wednesday in Seoul, is a biannual energy forum. During this three-day event, a discussion of the global climate crisis and measures to expand renewable energy use was opened, and around 3,500 participants from 108 nations, including the US, Germany and China, international organizations, including the International Renewable Energy Agency, and firms such as Danish wind firm Vestas and Korean solar company Hanwha Q Cells attended.

Source: The Korea Herald

© ETNEWS, YONHAP NEWS

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote speech at the GCF Private Investment for Climate Conference

As the Chair of the Council of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote speech at the Green Climate Fund Private Investment for Climate Conference that kicked-off on October 7th and lasted until October 9th in Incheon, the Republic of Korea.

If we delay action today, we’ll have to pay much a dearer price tomorrow. Let us show the world that we can work and thrive together to make this planet better and sustainable. — Ban Ki-moon

The GCF Private Investment for Climate Conference (“GPIC”) is a global marketplace and ecosystem where leading private sector actors including project sponsors, institutional investors, financial institutions, climate leaders, and the public sector come together to accelerate climate action in developing countries.

This year’s GCF Private Investment for Climate Conference, focusing exclusively on the private sector gathered more than 600 participants from over 100 countries. 

On the second day of the GPIC, under the theme of Mobilizing Institutional Investors and the Global Finance Sector for Climate, Co-chair Ban said, 

The private sector manages more than $210 trillion in assets but invests less than 5% in climate finance. The climate crisis is too big, too serious, too urgent to use the resources of public institutions alone. 

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is the world’s largest dedicated fund helping developing countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and enhance their ability to respond to climate change. GCF has a crucial role in serving the Paris Agreement, supporting the goal of keeping average global temperature rise well below 2°C. We do so by channelling climate finance to developing countries and mobilizing private sector capital at scale.

GCF’s decision to hold this second annual private sector-focused forum reflects the Fund’s recognition that investments by businesses and other financial actors needs to be greatly increased if the world is to effectively deal with warming global temperatures.

The conference offers a unique opportunity to chart ways for institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and insurance companies, to tap GCF finances to expand emerging markets of low-emission and climate resilient growth.

GCF’s Private Investment for Climate Conference helped further drive the momentum of increasing private sector engagement in tackling the climate challenge which was a marked feature of the UN summit.

Source: Green Climate Fund

© GGGI