Press Releases

     
    For information only - not an official document.
      UNIS/SG/2714
        14 November 2000
     Radical Changes in World Economy Needed if Greenhouse Gas Emissions
    To Be Brought Down to Sustainable Level, Secretary-General Says
     
     

    NEW YORK, 13 November (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s video message to the Sixth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is being held in The Hague from 13 to 24 November:

     I send my best wishes to you all, but especially to the young people who have come as part of their national delegations.  To them I say:  your involvement is crucial.  This conference is about the world you will inherit.  And your generation must look after it, better than mine has.

     The task before us is enormous.  If we are to bring greenhouse gas emissions down to a sustainable level, we need to make radical changes in the world economy, and in the way we all live.
     
     Your meeting can make a big contribution, if you succeed in doing three things:

     First, draw up a credible rulebook of measures that industrialized countries must take, since at present they produce most of the emissions.

     Second, help chart a new path of development.  All peoples have an equal right to development.  But measures to reduce global warming in industrialized countries will be in vain if, meanwhile, developing countries are following the same wasteful and noxious pattern of industrialization.

     And thirdly, you must give a convincing signal to the private sector, that reducing greenhouse gas emissions will pay.  Once businessmen and women are convinced of that, we can rely on them to come up with new, eco-friendly technologies, which will in turn generate jobs and other opportunities.  Until now, corporations have profited by polluting the environment.  In future, we must make sure they have an incentive to clean it up.

     Two months ago, at the Millennium Summit, world leaders resolved to adopt a new ethic of conservation and stewardship, and, as a first step, to make every effort to bring the Kyoto Protocol into force by 2002.  If that first step is achieved, our hopes of a sustainable future will be greatly strengthened.  Let us all do our utmost to make it happen.

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