Ban Urges the Business Community to Lobby Governments to Power Green Growth and Seal the Deal on Climate Change
Copenhagen, 25 May 2009 On Sunday UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Nobel Laureate Al Gore called on over 500 world business leaders meeting in Copenhagen to use their business acumen to urge government leaders to reach an agreement on reducing greenhouse gases.
The three-day World Business Summit on Climate Change is a precursor to the negotiations in December where world leaders will negotiate a new UN-brokered climate treaty that will succeed the Kyoto protocol that expires in 2012.
"As business leaders, you must make it clear to your leaders that doing the right thing for the climate is also the smart thing for global competitiveness and long-term prosperity," Ban told the conference.
"Climate change is ... the most potent game-changer for business over the next century. It is an opportunity we must seize," he emphasised.
The Secretary General challenged business leaders to take the initiative and lobby for action on climate change, "Today, I want to challenge you.
I want to see you in the vanguard of an unprecedented effort to retool the global economy into one that is cleaner, greener and more sustainable. You and your colleagues have the ingenuity and vision to lead by example where others - including governments - are lagging behind. With your support, and through your example, we must harness the necessary political will to seal the deal on an ambitious new climate agreement in December here in Copenhagen," he said.
"We have to do it this year. Not next year. This year," Gore stressed in his own address to participants. "The clock is ticking, because Mother Nature does not do bailouts."
On the last day of the meeting on 26 May, participants will issue a manifesto-The Copenhagen Call-that will be given to the Danish government for informing world leaders who will be arriving in December.
Ban urged the business community to support the manifesto and vigorously lobby policy makers on the need to negotiate and sign an effective climate agreement. "Tell them to seal the deal. Seal the deal to power green growth. Seal the deal to protect our planet. Seal the deal to build a more sustainable, prosperous global economy that will benefit all nations," he added.
The Summit takes place four months before the High-level Event on Climate Change the Secretary-General will host on 22 September in New York, which will focus on the key political issues still to be resolved during final negotiations leading up to the meeting in Copenhagen, next December.