Building Synergies to address Climate Change Challenges

Message by Dr. Kerim 

Melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and carbon emissions are just few of the posing and urgent threats that can lead to extreme poverty and homelessness for over 100 million people.  If current trends in climate change continue, one of 6 species could become extinct, and our planet as we know it will suffer detrimental consequences.

As the UN Climate Change Conference is approaching in Paris,  I express my support and commend the Declaration that has been signed by the city of Reykjavik, Iceland in partnership with over hundred businesses, all committing to partake in the fight against global warming and in the implementation of measures for reducing gas emissions and waste.

As President of the United Nations General Assembly in 2007/08, alongside entrepreneur Richard Branson and actress Daryl Hanna, I underlined the importance of involving stakeholders and non-state actors in climate change exercises. Encouraging concerned businesses to find a comprehensive solution to climate change – with all parties working together to increase investment in technologies in sensible ways – so that, for example increasing production of bio-fuel crops doesn’t lead to increased food insecurity and higher prices for basic foods is a highly effective approach. And, as we all know, each of these stakeholders in the climate change process has their own jargon.

This is a concrete example how efficient and useful is this approach. I praise the taken initiative by the city of Reykjavik in signing this declaration as synergies of this kind will definitely make our efforts comprehensive and productive.

Critically addressing global warming will require better conservation, higher efficiency changes in food and energy production, improved methods to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) that are already in the atmosphere and adaptation to climate changes already in motion for years to come. Subsequently, businesses represent a valuable and crucial stakeholder that can tackle these challenges efficiently.

Being myself a part of the diplomatic and business world at the same time, it has been definitely beneficial to understand both sides of the process in working together to adequately address climate change concerns.

Let’s make the 21st century an age of renewable energies where the business sector will play the key role in this action and contribute to adopting proficient measures in the struggle against global warming.

24 November 2015

(UN Photo/Mark Garten)