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The Climate Week NYC opening ceremony

24 September 2009

NEW YORK, September 21

The Climate Group kicked off Climate Week NYoC with an opening ceremony at the New York Public Library to an audience of business, international government leaders and over 100 press attendees.

Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group opened the ceremony followed by actor Hugh Jackman. UN Secretary-Gerenal Ban Ki-moon then gave in his keynote speech that "Climate Week NYoC was a welcome addition to our calendars and I hope it is repeated in years to come" and that the week "has done a great deal to raise awareness of the need for broad action." 

Regarding an international treaty in Copenhagen, Tony Blair stated in his keynote address "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good" and that an agreement is "the only way to provide long term sustainable development, protect the environment, safeguard the planet, and pass on to future generations a world hopefully better, or at least not worse, than what we have today."

Following this were remarks from Demark, U.S., China and Indian lead Copenhagen negotiators.

Connie Hedegaard, Minister of Climate and Energy for Denmark and host of the Copenhagen Conference, said: "The longer we postpone decisions, the more severe the consequences " and "It is not cost to invest in the climate, it is an investment. An investment in a safer and less energy consuming future, in new infrastructure and millions of new jobs."

Todd Stern, Special Envoy for Climate Change, United States said: "If we are honest about it, progress in the negotiations has been slower then we would have liked" and "Our mission has to be in the next 77 days to go full speed ahead to Copenhagen. To be pragmatic, flexible, respect each others legitimate constraints and get started"

Su Wei, Director-General of the Climate Change Department of the National Development and Reform Commission for China said: "I firmly believe that Climate Week NYoC will further deepen our understanding of the climate issue, enhance public awareness and nurture the spirit of responsibility of solidarity to fight climate change and to secure the future of mankind."

Jairam Ramesh, Honorable Minister of State for Environment and Forests of India said: "We are in the process in formulating domestic legislation, we are going to get parliaments approval, we will have a domestic law, which will embody in it specific mitigation targets and this will be a form of ensuring accountability and credibility"

"India will not be found wanting in joining the international consensus on working towards a solution that will limit temp increase to 2 degrees centigrade by 2050"

Following remarks from Premier Jean Charest, Quebec, the event followed with a panel of leaders from business and civil society, including Kumi Naidoo, Chair of the TckTckTck Campaign, a Climate Week NYoC Partner; Shane Robison, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, HP, the Climate Week NYoC Premier Sponsor and Pierre Ozendo, CEO, Swiss Re America, the Climate Week NY°C Founding Sponsor.

In his closing remarks, Steve Howard said that "If we get the next few weeks and months right, we'll unlock a clean, green future. We at The Climate Group are ready to do our part."

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