“The clock is ticking towards climate catastrophe,” warned the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, at the opening of the High-Level Segment on Monday, 7 December.
“The world is expecting more from you than half-measures,” he told the delegates in the plenary room “La Seine”, calling on the countries to agree to their commitments being reviewed every five years, starting even before 2020, the year when the future agreement will enter into force. “Current ambition must be the floor not the ceiling for our common efforts. That means the agreement should include regular, five-year cycles, beginning before 2020, for governments to review and strengthen their commitments according to what science tells us.”
“The decisions you make here [in Paris] will reverberate down through the ages,” said the UN Secretary-General. In this agreement, “the private sector needs a clear signal that the low-emissions transformation of the global economy is inevitable, mutually beneficial and already under way,” he added. He then highlighted that “developed countries must agree to lead, and developing countries need to assume increasing responsibility in line with their capabilities.”
“Outside these negotiating halls, there is a rising global tide of support for a strong, universal agreement,” continued Ban Ki-moon. “All of us have a […] duty to heed those voices.”