Ban Ki-moon: We Need A Green New Deal

01/15/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • The Independent

Together, we face two crises: climate change and the global economy. But these crises present us with a great opportunity - an opportunity to address both challenges simultaneously. Managing the global financial crisis requires massive global stimulus. A big part of that spending should be an investment- an investment in a green future. An investment that fights climate change, creates millions of green jobs and spurs green growth. We need a Green New Deal. This is a deal that works for all nations, rich as well as poor.

We also urgently need a deal on climate change to provide the political, legal, and economic framework to unleash a sustained wave of investment. In short, our response to the economic crisis must advance climate goals, and our response to the climate crisis will advance economic and social goals.

What we need today is leadership - leadership by you. We look for that leadership from the European Union. The decisions currently being made by European leaders in Brussels are at great consequence for the whole world. We look for leadership from the United States. It is therefore encouraging to hear about the incoming administration's plan to put alternative energy, environmentalism and climate change at the very centre of America's definition of national security, economic recovery, and prosperity.

We see encouraging movement elsewhere, as well. China is dedicating one fourth of its sizable economic stimulus plan to scale up renewable fuels, environmental protection and energy conservation. India has launched a comprehensive National Climate Change Action Plan that lays out the path for shifting to greater reliance on sustainable sources of energy.

This is the way of the future. A future we must all embrace. This coming year is the year of climate change. Yes, the economic crisis is serious. Yet when it comes to climate change, the stakes are even far higher. The climate crisis affects our potential prosperity and our peoples' lives, both now and far into the future.

We must keep climate change at the top of national agendas.

Taken from the UN Secretary-General's address to the Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland.

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