Climate action, carbon neutral initiatives no longer an option but a must, Ban Ki-moon warns

Ban: Because there is no other earth, there is no other alternative

Ban-Ki moon addressing the AsiaN forum

Ban-Ki moon addressing the AsiaN forum

SEOUL: Climate action and carbon neutral initiatives “are no longer an option but a must” for the world to ensure sustainable living, former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said.

“It is not a matter of choice, as it has become a must for future survival,” Ban-Ki moon said in his keynote speech focusing on the climate crisis, carbon neutrality, and environmental, social governance (ESG) at the “Next Leadership Toward Active ESG” forum.

The forum held at the National Assembly Library in the Korean capital Seoul commemorated the 10th anniversary of the foundation of AsiaN, the print and online expression of the Asia Journalist Association (AJA).

Ban-Ki moon, who as the eighth Secretary-General of United Nations ( from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2016) sought to mobilize world leaders around a set of new global challenges, from climate change and economic upheaval to pandemics, warned that climate change was causing havoc through extreme weather and that the world has to be ready for the future.

Should people fail to act promptly and decisively, “mankind will fail to become carbon neutral and if carbon neutrality fails, earth will also fail. Then, the very basis of human existence will collapse,” he said.

The former UN Secretary-General said that climate change, carbon neutrality and environmental, social governance (ESG) transformation required strong and positive attitudes and that people should be committed to addressing them with genuine willpower and wisdom.

“Because there is no other earth, there is no other alternative,” said Ban who as UN top official sought to be a bridge-builder, give voice to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people and mobilize global focus on increasing pressures involving food, energy and water.

One of Ban-Ki moon’s first major initiatives as Secretary-General was the 2007 Climate Change Summit, followed by extensive diplomatic efforts that have helped put the issue at the forefront of the global agenda.

Subsequent efforts to focus on the world’s main anti-poverty targets, the Millennium Development Goals, have generated more than $60 billion in pledges, with a special emphasis on Africa and the new Global Strategy on Women’s and Children’s Health.

Speakers at the forum

Speakers at the forum

Carbon-neutral friendly systems are becoming more and more common in Korea and internationally, and many global companies have 100% renewable energy, he told the forum.

The law will be on the side of those supporting carbon neutrality and cars exported to Europe for example in 2035, no matter how well they are built, will have to abide by the regulations.

Under a European Commission proposal, in 2030 carmakers must reduce emissions of new cars by 55%, rising to 100% in 2035.

Ban said he supported freedom of expression and that he was proud of the many times he helped with the release of media workers through quiet diplomacy.

“I made a lot of efforts to protect the human rights of journalists and to protect journalists from danger,” he said.

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