UN Secretary-General: Climate change biggest threat to sustainable development

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said that Climate change is the single greatest threat to sustainable development, but at the same time addressing it, one of the greates opportunities of our times.

In a keynote speech to the Global Green Growth Forum in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Secretary-General noted that the Forum had an important role in establishing a vibrant global marketplace for green capital and solutions. He noted that large amounts of capital were needed for the rapid development of low-carbon infrastructure.

“We are seeing progress -- but not fast enough. And not on a sufficient scale,” Mr Ban said. “Climate change is the single greatest threat to sustainable development. Yet, too often, one important fact gets lost amid the fear: addressing climate change is one of our greatest opportunities. With enlightened action, we can create jobs, improve public health, protect the environment and spur sustainable green growth”, he said in his keynote speech to the Global Green Growth Forum in Copenhagen. 

The UN Secretary-General met the Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. At a press conference after their meeting, Mr. Ban emphasized that while the destruction of chemical weapons was important, it was imperative to stop the fighting and find a peaceful solution to the fighting. “Fighting is still continuing and many people are being killed daily – at least a hundred or two hundred [people]. This is an unacceptable situation,” Mr. Ban told the press conference.

He pointed out that with 2.1 million refugees hosted by neighbouring countries and 4.5 million displaced people internally, almost one third of the Syrian population was affected.

 “Unfortunately we are experiencing lack of funding, lack of assistance to those people…That is why I am considering convening a global pledging conference for Syrian humanitarian assistance in the middle of January next year in Kuwait,” Mr. Ban said.

The UN Secretary-General arrvied today in Denmark on a two day visit.  Earlier today he had a meeting with International Pension Funds, hosted by Bjarne Corydon, the Minister for Finance of Denmark. He vistied the Danish Parliament, Folketinget, and had a meeting with Speaker Mogens Lykketoft.