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.

Ban Ki-moon calls for bolder global efforts to adopt renewable energy

“For developing countries, in particular, the green energy transformation can play the role of a bridge to modernization, economic growth, and greater social inclusiveness.” – Ban Ki-moon

On October 21, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon called for greater international efforts to expand the adoption of renewable energy so as to achieve the shared goal of policy transition toward sustainable development.

“We cannot overstate the importance of this broad, global objective. We – the international community – will need to adopt resolute measures to transform our fossil fuel-based energy systems,” said co-chair Ban in a video message to the opening of the Global Green Growth Week (GGGW), an annual conference hosted by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in Seoul.

“This transition towards renewable energy sources is not only about challenges. It presents new opportunities to modernize our energy systems, accelerate and diversify their economies, create green jobs, increase productivity and competitiveness and reduce poverty,” he said.

Green growth calls for seeking economic growth through environment-friendly technologies and industries. Under that initiative, South Korea set up GGGI on its soil to help develop strategies to promote the environment-friendly cause.

The green growth week, running through Friday, is an annual gathering of the 33 GGGI member countries and related participants from around the globe with an aim to promote green growth and sustainability and discuss key issues such as air pollution.

Co-chair Ban, current chairman of the GGGI Council, underscored the importance of taking concrete actions, especially at government levels, to advance the transformation to renewable energy.

Co-chair Ban said,

“Governments need to take advantage of the rapidly falling cost of solar, wind and other renewable energy sources. They also need to abandon fossil fuel subsidies and instead provide incentives for businesses to invest in clean energy infrastructure and technologies.”

“This energy transformation could greatly impact the labor markets, investment landscapes and even the way we do business.”

He voiced hope that this week’s conference will serve as a chance to explore various dimensions associated with the topics in a way that would better support countries to create the right policy for green growth transition.

GGGI is a treaty-based organization established in Seoul in 2012, focusing on supporting and promoting ways for inclusive and sustainable economic growth in developing and emerging countries.

The Global Green Growth Week 2019 (GGGW2019) has officially kicked off today in Seoul, Republic of Korea. GGGW2019, the 3rd instance of the Global Green Growth Institute’s (GGGI) flagship conference, is being held in conjunction with the Korea Renewable Energy Conference (KIREC) and in partnership with the Green Growth Knowledge Partnership (GGKP), the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM), REN21, LG Chemical, the Incheon Global Campus, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea. 

Under the banner of Unlocking Renewable Energy Potential, GGGW2019 runs October 21-24 and welcomes decision–makers and with high-level speakers from around the world to contribute in a number of feature events. 

 

Source Yonhap News Agency, GGGI 

© Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens / Co-chair Ban Ki-moon during the launch of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens

Ban Ki-moon’s Speech at the International BAR Association (IBA) Conference

COEX Convention & Exhibition Center 513,

Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Sunday 22-27 September 2019

BAN KI-MOON

Opening Ceremony

Welcoming Remarks

 

The Honorable Mayor of Seoul, Park Won Soon,

Chair of IBA Seoul Conference Host Committee, The Hon. Song Sang Hyun,

President of International Bar Association, Horacio Bernardes Neto,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the Opening Ceremony of the 2019 International Bar Association Annual Conference.

 

This is the first time that this huge gathering of esteemed international lawyers has gathered in Seoul. I am simply honored to have been invited to address such an important and influential group hailing from so many continents. I take this opportunity to applaud each of you for making the journey here, whether short or long, and I know some have been of considerable length.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Our world is presently in flux. It always is, but in recent times there has been a notable acceleration. Perhaps this is due to the fact that we live in an increasingly interconnected world, where what happens on one part of our planet is immediately known and occasionally felt in another part. Under this backdrop, unfortunately, and in a relatively short period, a shrinking of civil society has occurred and the rule of law of is being eroded.

 

Imagine what the world would look like without the rule of law: No independent media. No freedom to assemble and protest peacefully. No freedom to think individual ideas and articulate an opinion. No independent judiciary and no independent legal profession. Just imagine that for a moment.

 

This erosion is happening, gradually. You are the chief guardians of the rule of law, and, in this regard, must increase your unified efforts to stand firm in halting its erosion. As we all know, the rule of law promotes inclusive economic growth and builds accountable institutions that underpin global sustainable development. It protects individuals and businesses alike.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

As the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, I am fully aware of the IBA’s rich history and its founding principles. Now, I would like to briefly remind you of the establishment of the UN in 1945, the IBA in 1947, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Each were the product of like-minded individuals determined, through passion, compassion, integrity, and a guiding sense of justice to carve out a better world for our future generations. What these key institutions have in common is that they were all developed by diverse representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds hailing from all regions of the world.

 

As the IBA matches the UN in both structure and ambition, I believe this makes it easier to talk to you because the issues that are important to the UN are also critical to the IBA. From such topics as climate change, poverty eradication, cultural diversity, and the promotion of human rights, mental health, and gender equality; it is clear that there is much work to be done, with new challenges always emerging. However, I firmly believe that each of you will contribute in some way towards what is required in these areas. Indeed, we should be reminded of an old proverb that says, ‘It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.’

 

In this respect, the work of the IBA relating to business and human rights, gender equality, and climate change, as well as promoting justice and upholding the principle of accountability are all illuminated candles, and they are lit in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

In addition, I feel particularly connected to the IBA in other ways too, knowing that Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders, of which I am a Deputy Chair, and the late Nelson Mandela, Founder of The Elders, both have longstanding links to the substantive work of the IBA. Mary Robinson is working on climate justice and Nelson Mandela was the Founding Honorary President of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute.

 

Before concluding my remarks, I would like to emphasize that an independent legal profession and judiciary are the cornerstone of functioning democracies, and that as much as possible needs to be done to safeguard them.

 

Thanks to your active participation, I am confident that this conference will be crowned with great success. Please allow me to finish by quoting the late Dr Martin Luther King who once said; ‘Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.’

 

Thank you very much for your attention.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attended UN Climate Action Summit 2019 – Adapting Now: Making People Safer

“The eyes of all future generations are upon you, and if you choose to fail us, I say, we will never forgive you.” – Greta Thunberg

On September 23rd, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attended UN Climate Action Summit 2019 in New York.

UN Climate Action Summit 2019 was convened as global emissions are reaching record levels and show no sign of peaking. The last four years were the four hottest on record, and winter temperatures in the Arctic have risen by 3°C since 1990. Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying, and we are starting to see the life-threatening impact of climate change on health, through air pollution, heatwaves and risks to food security.

The impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere and are having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow. But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.

The latest analysis shows that if we act now, we can reduce carbon emissions within 12 years and hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and even, as asked by the latest science, to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Thankfully, we have the Paris Agreement – a visionary, viable, forward-looking policy framework that sets out exactly what needs to be done to stop climate disruption and reverse its impact. But the agreement itself is meaningless without ambitious action.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on all leaders to come to New York on 23 September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.

Source / © UN Climate Action Summit 2019

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon launched the “Year of Action” of the Global Commission on Adaptation with Bill Gates and Kristalina Georgeieva

“Action is imperative if we want all people, especially those living on the frontlines of climate change, and our children, who will inherit the impacts of climate change, to have the opportunity for a better future. During our Year of Action, we will implement climate-resilient solutions all over the world so we can save lives, reduce risk, strengthen economies, and protect our environment. We no longer have any time to waste.” – Ban Ki-moon

Built on the momentum of the UN Climate Action Summit on September 24th, the Global Commission on Adaptation was launched a Year of Action to accelerate and scale climate adaptation solutions.

The Commission is led by Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary General of the United Nations; Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank.

“Without urgent adaptation action, we risk undermining food, energy, and water security for decades to come. Continued economic growth and reductions in global poverty are possible despite these daunting challenges—but only if societies invest much more in adaptation. The costs of adapting are less than the cost of doing business as usual. And the benefits many times larger” – Ban Ki-moon

At the event that took place in the UN headquarters, the Commission leaders and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and Dutch Water Management Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen launched eight Action Tracks that focus on the following areas: Finance and Investment, Food Security and Agriculture, Nature-Based Solutions, Water, Cities, Locally-Led Action, Infrastructure, and Preventing Disasters. Together, these actions form a comprehensive platform for urgent, bold and equitable adaptation.

More than 75 national governments, multilateral banks, civil society organizations and private sector actors have signed on to support and deliver on these initiatives. The Commission and its partners will mobilize political, technical, and financial support for adaptation, through both existing initiatives and new coalitions for change.

Over the next 12 months, the Commission will be working on climate solutions to regions that are vulnerable to climate change, solutions such as reinforcing coastal areas and future-proofing urban infrastructure. The “Year of Action” will run until the Dutch Climate Adaptation Summit, to be held in Amsterdam on 22 October 2020.

Sources: World Resources InstituteGovernment of the Netherlands

© DRRRF 

Ban Ki-moon speaks with religious leaders about the climate crisis

On September 19th, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, who is also a chairman of the National Council on Climate and Environment Conference of South Korea, visited pastor Hong-jeong Lee of the National Council of Churches in Korea and other leaders of the Christian Council of Korea including Reverend Sung-bok Kim, to foster Christian communities’ participation in climate actions.

“Peace emphasized in Christianity, unity through dialogue and cooperation, and the conservation of the natural world are fundamental to solving the climate and environmental problems we currently face.”

Emphasizing the importance of the activities the National Climate and Environment Committee and the need for global cooperation, Co-chair Ban said, “Korea’s fine dust level is the lowest among OECD countries. It poses a direct danger to people’s health.” “Thus, I would like to ask Christian community to actively participate in a peaceful solution to tackle  a variety of climate and environmental problems, including the fine dust that has become a national disaster.”

Source: Yonhap News

© PCKWORLD

Ban Ki-moon Calls for Urgent Action on Climate Adaptation together with Bill Gates and Kristalina Georgieva

On September 11th, as a leader of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) along with Bill Gates, the Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon called on global leaders and experts from both government and business sectors to take urgent action to innovate and advance climate adaptation solutions.

The commission launched its report on “Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience” in Beijing, China.

“Climate change doesn’t respect borders: it’s an international problem that can only be solved with co-operation and collaboration, across borders and worldwide,” – Ban Ki-moon

Ban also said,

“It is becoming increasingly clear that in many parts of the world, our climate has already changed, and we need to adapt with it. Mitigation and adaptation go hand-in-hand as two equally important building blocks of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Adaptation is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do to boost economic growth and create a climate resilient world.”

According to the Global Commission on Adaptation report, investing $1.8 trillion globally from 2020 to 2030 in five areas of climate adaptation could yield $7.1 trillion in net benefits. This would be the only means left to avert climate apartheid, where the rich escape the effects and the poor do not, but this investment is far smaller than the eventual cost of doing nothing.

“People everywhere are experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change. Those most impacted are the millions of smallholder farmers and their families in developing countries, who are struggling with poverty and hunger due to low crop yields caused by extreme changes in temperature and rainfall. With greater support for innovation, we can unlock new opportunities and spur change across the global ecosystem. Adaptation is an urgent issue that needs support from governments and businesses to ensure those most at risk have the opportunity to thrive,” said Gates.

Ban expressed his concern about “lack of vision of political leaders,” criticizing that “they are much more interested in getting elected and re-elected, and climate issues are not in their priorities.”

“It’s true that many governments have been paying more to invest in mitigation, trying to reduce greenhouse emissions. But it’s equally important that we do more, if not more, equally on adaptation. If we invest one dollar today on adaptation, particularly on infrastructure resilient to climate, we can expect at least four dollars return,” said Ban.

On the margins of the GCA launch event, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon had a bilateral meeting with Minister Li Ganjie of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China.

Minister Li said that China has implemented a national strategy to actively respond to climate change.

“As we try our best to carry out mitigation actions, we have constantly strengthened our adaptation ability, such as issuing national strategies and making them as long-term plan. Infrastructure construction and other projects like forestry, agriculture, marine areas will take climate change into account,” he said.

Ban said,

“Mitigation and adaptation go hand-in-hand as two equally important building blocks of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Adaptation is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do to boost economic growth and create a climate resilient world.”

Read more about the GCA report here, and watch Ban Ki-moon’s interview on CGTN.

Sources

www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-energy-202/2019/09/10/the-energy-202-bill-gates-ban-ki-moon-and-other-leaders-propose-ways-to-adapt-to-a-warming-planet/5d766d4e602ff171a5d734d0/?noredirect=on

www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/10/climate-crisis-world-readiness-effects-gravely-insufficient-report

www.gca.org/global-commission-on-adaptation/adapt-our-world?fbclid=IwAR060tzLjCBH2Lzla-1rfCeFL9C1r9BLQB7J2khTH2Qil1jxqzzOcb5em6U

http://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201909/11/WS5d7889a3a310cf3e3556afd3.html

© CGTN

Ban Ki-moon stresses the “Urgency for Transformative Action” for climate change

The Global Programming Conference hosted by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) kicked off on August 19th in Incheon, South Korea. BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote at the Plenary Session “Urgency for Transformative Action: The 1.5 Degree Celsius Imperative.”

The Conference served as a platform for high-level dialogue on country and entity programming plans with the GCF and invited developing countries to discuss the demand for GCF resources. Those resources move the countries towards low emission and climate-resilient pathways in line with the objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement.

Ban Ki-moon was the very person who convened 195 countries in Paris to adopt the world’s first universal climate change agreement called the Paris Agreement in 2015. He currently also serves as President and Chair of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and leads the Global Commission on Adaptation.

Conference Agenda: https://bit.ly/2KSkuYT
Learn more about the Paris Agreement: https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the-paris-agreement

Global Leaders Call to Accelerate Adaptation at the WEF 2019

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.

Ban Ki-moon stresses the importance of adapting to climate change at the World Energy Outlook 2018

The World Energy Outlook 2018 was launched by Verbund and International Energy Agency (IEA) at the Technical University of Vienna on November 14th.

This year’s edition of the WEO found that the world population without electricity access fell below 1 billion for the first time ever in 2017, led by India; but despite recent progress, efforts in sub-Saharan Africa need to redouble to achieve the goal of universal access.

The event on Wednesday drew more than 300 participants, including ambassadors from several countries, as well as former Vice-Chancellor of Austria Mr. Reinhold Mitterlehner and high level representatives from UNIDO and OPEC.

Under Co-chair Ban’s leadership as Secretary General of the United Nations, the UN adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) including SDG 7 related specifically to energy in the year 2015. Ban acknowledged the IEA’s role in tracking progress toward SDG 7 and congratulated IEA for the continued efforts in providing analysis and data on the SDG 7 through the World Energy Outlook.

Ban also stressed the importance of adapting to the climate change as Head of Global Commission on Adaptation and Chairman of the Board of Global Center on Adaptation:

“Climate change is a global challenge requiring a global coordination.”

“Adapting to climate will require a complete transformation.”

“Adaptation is not only the right thing to do but a smart thing to do.”

Minister Elisabeth Koestinger of the Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism welcomed this year’s World Energy Outlook as a source of information and data for political leaders while Ban spoke of his childhood experiences with access to energy growing up in South Korea, and highlighted the importance of international cooperation to improve energy access while tackling climate change.

During a dialogue session with Minister Koestinger and Executive Director Fatih Birol of IEA, Ban stressed 3 key points, urging that everyone has to use energy more wisely and sustainably in order to achieve the sustainable development of the future:

1. Enhance effectiveness of energy use
2. Make energy accessible for all
3. Develop renewable energy

Source: https://www.iea.org/newsroom/news/2018/november/executive-director-in-vienna-for-presentation-of-world-energy-outlook.html
Photo: IEA