Today begins the high-level segment of the UN Climate Change Conference. Ministers from 189 countries finally come together to deliver an action plan for the climate deal promised last year in Bali. This morning at 10:15, I watched as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, delivered his opening statement by talking about our sculpture and let the ministers know what you have been saying for weeks, The World is Watching what happens in Poznan.
The Secretary General opened his speech,
"Most of you have noticed, entering this hall, a sculpture of a ten foot high “wave” of carbon- dioxide emissions, about to engulf the planet. This is no empty metaphor. We all know the science, judging from the evidence presented over the last past few days, we know the problem is growing worse. Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen: The world is watching us."
Ban Ki-moon goes on to talk about the opportunity available to address the climate crisis and the global economy at the same time. The need for leadership from the EU and the US and praise for China, Denmark, India and Brazil for their investments in green growth. He outlined the three challenges facing the ministers in Poznan:
• Agreeing on a work plan for next year’s negotiations
• A framework for a long term vision - with a stress on industrialized countries setting ambitious goals coupled with mid-term emissions targets, developing countries limiting the growth of their emissions with financial and technical support and strategies for development and poverty alleviation
• Urgency in the cause - a need to keep climate change at the top of national agendas despite economic crisis
He closed with a promise of support and a request for global solidarity.
"Today we need a global solidarity on climate change, the defining challenge of our era.
Twenty years from now, let our children and grand-children look back upon this day and say:
'Yes, that is where it began.'
A revolution. A turning point. A moment when we turned away from a past that no longer works toward a more equitable and prosperous future."
Image © Greenpeace/ Conrad Konstantynowiscz