Climate change actions define global legacy ~ UN S-G @ HLE

September 28, 2007 at 11:48 am | Posted in Climate change, HLE, Insurance advice, National Geographic, UK, UN, US, Videos, YouTube | Leave a comment

24 September 2007

Sixty-second General Assembly
High-Level Event on Climate Change
Thematic Plenaries (AM & PM)

ACTIONS ON CLIMATE CHANGE WILL DEFINE GLOBAL LEGACY LEFT FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS,
SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL, AS HIGH-LEVEL EVENT CONVENES

Officials from 150 Countries, 71 Heads of State and Government Meet;
Aim to Build Momentum for December Climate Change Negotiations in Bali

The document linked to the title above is worth reading. It is full of tons of useful information and interesting views from government and business leaders (see a sample of three below), though it is not the official record. Tiny snippets follow, with my emphasis added.

Opening Plenary Session

United Nations Secretary-General BAN KI-MOON opened the event with the introduction of a documentary video, The Way Forward: Confronting Climate Change, produced especially for the event by the National Geographic Society, and based on the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (Watch the original by clicking the link, or watch this lower quality version on YouTube)

JACQUES AIGRAIN, Chief Executive Officer of the Swiss Reinsurance Company, said it was important for the largest global reinsurer to share its insights with the international community on managing and adapting to climate change. Though the global cost of adaptation to climate change was difficult to estimate, it had been expected to reach into the tens of billions of United States dollars annually. In managing climate change, risk avoidance and mitigation strategies must be the first priority“an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, he said.

He suggested creating new forms of partnership between the public and private sectors. The private sector would have the resources, but not the power to set appropriate frameworks; the public sector would take on that role and facilitate adaptive responses by the private sector, individuals and the public. In addressing the challenge, technological solutions, managerial solutions, policy-based solutions and behavioural changes should all be considered. In closing, he pointed out that no State or country could protect itself completely against the effects of climate change, and risks that could not be avoided should be transferred and distributed over as many shoulders as possible.

🙂 Wise words, Jacques!

HILARY BENN, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of the United Kingdom, said, from statements this morning, it was pretty clear that commitments already made were not enough to deal with the consequences of climate change. He wondered what was going to happen — if people were going to fight about water, or if refugees were fleeing not violence but environmental catastrophe. Climate change was not only an environmental problem, but a political and economic one: it was a problem of the future of the world.

He said global temperature increase must be limited to no more than 2 degrees and binding emission reduction commitments from all, repeat all, developed countries were necessary. Without that, there would be no carbon market, which could be a source of significant financial flows for developing countries. There was also a need for innovative financing. An agreement could be reached today on the elements of what was necessary. Action was what mattered.

🙂 Go Hilary!

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, Secretary of State of the United States, said the United States, a major economy and a major greenhouse gas emitter, took the challenge of climate change very seriously and was prepared to broaden its leadership on the issue. The United States was firmly committed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Major Economies Meeting to be hosted by the United States next week was the first in a series of meetings to advance ongoing United Nations discussions to seek consensus on key elements of the post-2012 framework on climate change. Climate change required an integrated response involving environmental stewardship, energy supply security and economic growth. The world must develop and bring to market new energy technologies that transcended the current system of fossil fuels, carbon emissions and economic activity. The world needed a technological revolution. The common challenge was to aggressively promote and readily implement technological solutions. Since 2001, the United States had invested almost $18 billion to develop cleaner sources of energy, including through hydrogen technologies, carbon sequestration, advanced nuclear energy, renewable fuels and support for greater energy efficiency. The United States was also working closely to help other countries bring clean energy technologies and alternative energy sources to market.

😦

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