On World Environment Day on June 5th, 2019, BKMC Co-Chair Ban Ki-moon travelled to China and Singapore to address the issues of air pollution and climate change. Both keynotes, at the 2019 Annual General Meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) in Hangzhou and at the Ecosperity presented by Temasek in Singapore, highlight the need for global solutions and cooperation in the fight against global issues such as climate change. According to the World Health Organization, 97% of cities in low- and middle-income countries with more than 100,000 inhabitants do not meet air quality guidelines, whereas in high-income countries the percentage drops to 49. This shows that air pollution is strongly interlinked with social inequalities. Ban Ki-moon is fighting against climate change as chair of the Global Green Growth Institute, the Global Center on Adaptation, and the National Council on Climate and Air Quality of South Korea. Read more: https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/
As Chairman of the Board of the Global Center on Adaptation, Ban Ki-moon together with World Bank Chief Executive Kristalina Georgieva chaired the meeting of the Global Commission on Adaptation and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany on May 21st, 2019, in Berlin, Germany.
“There is no time to waste. The decisions we make today have a long-lasting impact.”The groups discussed their inputs and possible collaboration for the UN Climate Action Summit held by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in New York on September 23rd, 2019. Among the topics were the definition of climate change to people in developing countries and the possible mitigating effects. The 2019 Climate Action Summit should accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement on a collective national level and in turn support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more about the GCA here: https://gca.org/
On Tuesday May 21st 2019, Ban Ki-moon Centre partner Global Citizen hosted GC Live Berlin, bringing together policy makers from around the world seeking to end extreme poverty and to support African Youth. Former UN Secretary-General and Centre Co-chair Ban Ki-Moon made particular impact through his participation and speech at the event resulting in large coverage across social media and media outlets. At the event, Nigeria and Zambia made important commitments to water, sanitation, and nutrition. Co-chair Ban, World Bank Chief Executive Kristalina Georgieva, and German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller all made powerful statements on the world’s most pressing issues associated with ending extreme poverty and addressing climate change. Along with CEO Georgieva and Bill Gates, Co-chair Ban chairs the Global Commission on Adaptation focused on climate adaptation. During his speech at GC live Berline, Co-chair Ban emphasized:
“Now is the moment to make our lives, our homes, and our communities climate friendly and climate ready.”BKMC CEO Monika Froehler also attended the event in support of African Youth which underlined the idea of one generation, one future. In addition to the commitments made by African countries, the government of Germany announced support for 60 million smallholder farmers globally to adapt to climate change. The event followed weeks of campaigning by Global Citizens around the world. Global Citizens from Germany, South Africa, Nigeria, and 143 other countries took action in the lead-up to the event which earned them tickets to the concert. The event celebrated Africa Day, which takes place on May 25 and commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (now known as the African Union) on May 25, 1963. Global Citizen Live Berlin was presented in partnership with Engagement Global, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Live Nation. Source: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-citizen-live-berlin-global-citizens-artists-and-world-leaders-from-nigeria-zambia-germany-rwanda-and-ghana-took-unprecedented-action-on-ending-extreme-poverty-by-2030-300854704.html Photo: Global Citizen #GCLiveBerlin #EineGenerationEineZukunft #SDGs #GlobalCitizens
As the UK’s Climate Change Committee publishes its latest recommendations for UK government action to drastically reduce carbon emissions, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General and Deputy Chair of The Elders said:
“The Elders welcome the recommendations of the UK’s Climate Change Committee. Committing the UK to become carbon neutral by 2050 will send a clear message to other G20 nations and beyond that the UK truly is a leader on climate action. Such a decision, should the UK Government take it, will be unprecedented and will put pressure on other nations to do the same. The scale and urgency of the climate challenge we face needs this kind of ambitious #leadership – it would mark a significant political moment in efforts to keep global temperatures in line with a 1.5C rise.”Source: https://www.theelders.org/news/ban-ki-moon-uk-must-commit-go-carbon-neutral-2050 Photo by David Iliff
On Arpul 29th, 2019, the South Korean government launched the presidential committee on national climate on fine dust pollution. Chairing the committee, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote at the launch, stressing the importance of the national efforts to tackle the issues as well as to cooperate with other states such as China.South Korea designated fine dust as a social disaster in March as the intensity and frequency of the air pollution has increased in recent months. A large portion of the fine dust is believed to blow in from China.
“As the fine dust issue is tangled with shared interests, it is not easy to resolve it. For fundamental solutions, I will make efforts to communicate with the people and accommodate their opinions beyond some sectors’ vested interests,” Ban said at the opening.Korean President Moon Jae-in earlier asked Ban, who played a key role in producing the Paris Agreement in 2015, to help the government address the issue and appointed him the head of the agency. The council consists of Ban and 42 members selected from various sectors including political parties, the business circle, the government, expert groups and civil society.
“The people deserve to enjoy clean air. Let’s make a country safe from fine dust air pollution together,” Moon said in a message to celebrate the launch read by his chief of staff Noh Young-min.
Read more: https://bit.ly/2GREAlt Photo by Yonhap News Agency
On April 11th, 2019, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon visited the Vatican to have a private meeting with His Holiness Pope Francis. The two discussed on the topic of peace in the Korean peninsula and the globe as well as the issues surrounding climate change. Mentioning his firm advocacy for peace in the Korean peninsula, the Pope stressed the importance of the continuous conversation between two Koreas in settling peace on the peninsula. He also stressed that the environment is the matter directly related to the existence of mankind, and the humankind cannot survive without solving the climate issues. As the Pope delivered a speech at the UN General Assembly in 2015 and supported the UN with adopting the Paris Climate Agreement, Ban expressed his gratitude again for the Pope’s great attention to the global issues. Mentioning his new leadership role as the Head of the National Committee to fight against micro dust issues in Korea, Ban asked for the Pope’s continuous attention to the climate challenge and support for the necessary cooperation within the international community. News clip by Yonhap News Agency (Korean): https://bit.ly/2VPVupKPhotos: The Vatican
From March 12th to 15th, 2019, the 30th edition of MIPIM, an real estate event, takes place in Cannes, France. It is the world’s leading real estate event gathering key players of the property market. The event allows people from different sectors of the industry to meet and bring the value chain together and provides a unique exhibition and networking platform to forge deals. This year, the main theme for the conferences is “Engaging the Future.” At the opening ceremony, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote and stressed that
“we must ensure that our future cities are resilient and sustainable, creative and innovate, and inclusive and equitable.”He pointed out that creating resilient and sustainable cities are they key to our future, and the climate change is the “most pressing threat standing in this path.” He also addressed how the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals can help in charting a thriving blueprint for the future.
“Goal 17 of the SDGs clearly highlights the prominent role that the private sector, alongside civil society, academia, and others, should play to help achieve the SDGs,” said Ban. “Global partnerships,” he stressed, “are necessary if we are to deliver on our development commitments.”
Photo by: Yann Coatsaliou
On February 10th during the World Government Summit 2019 held in Dubai, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon spoke about the importance of the leadership of national and international leaders and the governments
“in the formulation of policies that can lead to achieve the UN SDGs.”As President of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Ban featured at the “High-Level Panel on the Implementation of the SDGs” which was moderated by Catherine Cheney, Senior Reporter for Devex, and consisted of
- Henry Puna, Prime Minister, Cook Islands
- María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the UN General Assembly
- Mahmoud Mohieldin, Senior Vice President, World Bank Group
- Ban Ki-Moon, 8th UN Secretary General
- Gina McCarthy, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- Adnan Amin, Director General, IRENA
- Laurent Fabius, President of the Constitutional Council in France
- Luis de Alba, UNSG Special Envoy for 2019 Climate Summit
On January 23rd during the World Economic Forum 2019 in Davos, Switzerland, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, CEO Kristalina Georgieva of the World Bank, and Co-chair Bill Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the leaders of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), met with global leaders to discuss global solutions to respond to growing consequences of climate change that needs adaptation.
“Adaptation must move into the mainstream of policy-making, business strategies and development planning. Through these efforts, the world can advance dynamic solutions that will reduce risk and bring economic opportunities for more people. We are all in this together. We must mobilize leadership and unlock investments in adaptation that can improve people’s lives today and for generations to come,” Ban emphasized during the meeting.Prior to the meeting, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler also met with CEO Patrick Verkooijen of the Global Center on Adaptation, Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency and UK Commissioner for GCA, and CEO Peter Damgaard Jensen of Pensionskassernes Administration A/S to discuss the importance of accelerating finance and investment in climate resilience.
Keynote Address Launch of the World Energy Outlook 2018 World Energy Outlook 2018 Launch International Energy Agency & VERBUND Technical University Vienna, Kuppelsaal Karlsplatz 13 November 14, 2018, 11:30 – 14:30Your Excellency Minister Elisabeth Köstinger, Mr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Mr. Gerhard Roiss, President of Verbund, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank the International Energy Agency and VERBUND for bringing us all together for the launch of the 2018 World Energy Outlook in Vienna. It is a great privilege for me to address such a distinguished group of global leaders and experts across a wide variety of sectors and regions to talk about “Electrification” and “Making it Happen”. As a child growing up during the Korean War, I studied with candlelight. Electric conveniences such as refrigerators and fans were largely unknown. I had to study until I was a freshman at University under candle light. Yet within my lifetime reality changed utterly. Easy access to energy opened abundant new possibilities for my family, my community, my country and so many others around the globe. We have come a long way and one thing is clear: Energy transforms lives, businesses and economies. And it transforms our planet —our climate, natural resources and ecosystems. Since 2010, less than a decade ago, the average costs of solar power has dropped 73% and the cost of wind energy has dropped 23%, respectively. It may be kind of meaningless for me to point this numbers out in front of many experts like yourselves. The costs of battery storage technologies are forecasted to decline by as much 60% over the next decade. In many scenarios, renewable energy is now more competitive than conventional fossil fuel-based energy. In other words, we have arrived at the tipping point where investing in renewable energy is no longer only the right thing to do to, it is also the sensible thing to do. If we were to push for the new construction of traditional fossil fuel power plants, we would be at risk of being viewed as not only “immoral” but also as “unwise”. Still, real world change is not occurring as rapidly as we want, and current electrification rates are insufficient to achieve Sustainable Development Goal No. 7. Today still nearly one out of every five people lacks access to electricity. More than twice that number — 2.8 billion people – still rely on wood, charcoal, animal and crop waste or other solid fuels to cook their food and heat their homes. For example, Sub-Saharan Africa is far behind the rest of the world in terms of electricity generation capacity, per capita electricity consumption and household access to electricity. If the current trend continues, 674 million people will remain without access, even in 2030. At the same time the global thermostat is rising, threatening development goals and economies small and large. Still we need to make modern energy services available to all, increase efficiency and increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. This is why I launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative. It has three targets and the headquarters is now here in Vienna. We must do all of that in a sustainable manner. Ladies and Gentlemen, In order to address this, there are many ways in which we can redouble our efforts, including:
- Aiming to achieve the scale of investment and deployment required, by focusing on interventions that develop a fully sustainable market chain from manufacture, to distribution, retail and end-user consumption;
- Increasing the share of renewables for end-users, including heating, cooling and transportation and by utilizing the rapid technological advances;
- Decentralizing renewable energy systems, including mini-grids, to ensure that people will have access to power despite disruption to energy services, especially targeting LDCs as energy services are simply non-existent in many regions;
- Creating institutional arrangements that will increase international cooperation and collaboration; support research and development for green growth and spread those technologies to developing countries; and
- Developing policies and other innovative ways for the private sector and public institutions—especially those that receive R&D funding from their governments—to be more active in transferring technologies to developing countries so they can decrease fossil fuel imports, reduce air pollution and create green jobs.
- It supports countries to achieve sustainable development and climate action through new and innovative green industries and jobs;
- It supports governments to develop socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable green growth plans and policies; and
- It supports its Member countries achieve the NDCs (national determined contributions) by delivering climate action services in the areas of mitigation, transparency and finance.