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Secretary-General, at Paris Conference, Says Governments Should Continue Spirit of Compromise to Protect Planet from Climate Change

Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the presentation of the draft outcome document of the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), COP21, in Paris today:

Je remercie Son Excellence, Monsieur Laurent Fabius et aussi le President de la Republique, Francois Hollande, d’avoir su piloter les négociations sur le climat si habilement tout au long de l’année écoulée.

Nous voici rendus à un tournant décisif après une longue quête entamée voici des décennies  Vous avez maintenant devant un texte historique.  Il a pour ambition de tracer à la planète une voie nouvelle vers un avenir affranchi des émissions et des aléas du climat.

I would like to take this opportunity to commend the commitment, engagement and leadership of all the Heads of State, Government ministers and negotiators who have brought us so far in this very difficult negotiation.

The end is in sight.  Let us now finish the job.  The whole world is watching.  Billions of people are relying on your wisdom.  The time has come to acknowledge that national interests are best served by acting in the global interest.  Nature is sending urgent signals.  People and countries are threatened as never before.  We have to do as science dictates.  We must protect the planet that sustains us.  For that, we need all hands on deck.

Over the past nine years, I have travelled to the climate front-lines, I have talked to world leaders and I have engaged the private sector, civil society and vulnerable groups.  I have worked to raise awareness of the dangers of a warming world and the immense opportunities of a clean-energy, climate-resilient future.

Your leaders have listened.  They came in unprecedented numbers to the beginning of this conference and gave clear instructions.  They want a flexible, robust, meaningful, universal agreement that will help us rise as one to the climate challenge.

The issues are many and complex.  But, we must not let the quest for perfection become the enemy of the public good.  Today, I ask you to continue in the same good spirit of compromise that has characterized the discussions over the past two weeks.

I count on developed countries to provide financial resources for mitigation and adaptation, and to embark decisively on a low-emissions pathway.  And I ask all developing nations to play an increasingly active role, according to their capacities.

I commend you all for submitting your national climate plans.  The solutions to climate change are on the table.  They are ours for the taking.  Let us have the courage to grasp them.

I look forward to joining you later today to celebrate an agreement that will offer new hope for safety and prosperity for all on a healthy planet.

For information media. Not an official record.