November 17, 2016, Marrakech, Morocco – The civil society movement is growing stronger in its fight against climate change, overcoming all obstacles, as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon prepares to join its ranks at the end of the year.
Civil society confirmed its commitment to continue placing climate change at the top of the political agenda in a farewell organized for Ki-moon farewell to express gratitude for his support in the struggle to reach breakthroughs and commitments by governments such as the Paris Agreement. “Civil society made the climate change movement what it is today and will continue doing so despite changes in the political leadership that might take the process in a negative direction,” said Climate Action Network (CAN) Director Wael Hmaidan. The event was organized on the sidelines of the UN Climate Talks taking place in Marrakech.
Ki-moon asked a host of civil society leaders representing environmental organizations, youth, women and gender groups, businesses, trade unions, indigenous people, farmers, faith groups and research organizations to move forward more forcefully as we are running against time, raising alarm that immediate action is needed to keep global temperatures increase below 1.5C. “I ask you to raise your voice as high as possible,” Ki-moon said. “Soon I will be sitting amongst you, I cannot be a business CSO but I can immediately join as a civil society in the fight against climate change.”
The historical moment of Ki-moon joining civil society was captured in a photo depicting the Secretary General and the climate movement actors standing together behind a banner that said: “Climate action is unstoppable, 1.5 is possible” emphasizing the message that the climate agenda is moving forward to ensure a safer future, cleaner jobs, resilient economies and more security for all.
Youth groups recalled the historic moment in 2014 and 2015 when the UN Secretary-General joined and led the global climate marches in New York in a show of solidarity and commitment to the cause and movement that is trying to avert the catastrophic impacts of climate change.“Mr. Ban Ki-moon will always be the pride of Asia for his inspiration that bestows upon us youth a shared duty to carry on what he has started in our time,” said youth representative Jing Liu from China. “I particularly enjoyed seeing Ban Ki-moon at the front of the climate march in September 2014 in New York, joining thousands of youth across the world.”
Business leaders recognized the Secretary-General’s role and vision in widening the scope of climate change engagement and placing it at the top of political agenda but also the business agenda,” said Chief Executive Officer of We Mean Business Paul Simon. “You have focused minds and catalyzed action to help build early momentum, this has enabled us to have the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals”
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