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Coalition of the willing call for climate deal at launch of Climate Week NYC

Date
21 September 2009

Business, government and civil society call on world leaders to secure a global climate deal in Copenhagen

NEW YORK - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rt Hon Tony Blair; The Climate Group CEO Steve Howard are taking part in the Climate Week NY°C opening ceremony today. Watch the ceremony live at NOON EST.

Lead climate change negotiators from the U.S., China, India and Denmark: U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern; Director General of Climate Change Department of National Development and Reform Commission, People's Republic of China, Su Wei; Indian Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh and Denmark's Minister for Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard will also participate.

Premier of Quebec Jean Charest will deliver a statement highlighting the work that more than 100 Subnational governments are doing to support an agreement in Copenhagen. This delegation will be joined by representatives from business and civil society who have come together to urge the world leaders visiting New York City this week to secure a fair, ambitious and binding climate change deal in Copenhagen. TckTckTck Campaign Chair Kumi Naidoo and Actor Hugh Jackman will speak about the human impact climate change is already having on millions of people across the planet.

Shane Robison, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Technology Officer at HP and Pierre Ozendo, CEO of Swiss Re America will represent the role business can play in helping to secure a global deal.

Tony Blair and The Climate Group will unveil Cutting the Cost, the latest Breaking the Climate Deadlock report, which focuses on how global collaboration to cut {CO2} emissions can increase GDP and employment in all major economies and significantly cutting the cost of climate change mitigation.

Climate Week NY°C will feature over 60 high-level meetings, forums, panel discussions and public events focusing on the urgent need for action on climate change. The centerpiece of Climate Week NY°C is the Secretary General's Summit on Climate Change, taking place on September 22nd. With less than 80 days until Copenhagen, this summit will bring together the world's leaders to continue building momentum towards a global deal.

Climate Week NY°C is an initiative of The Climate Group, in partnership with the United Nations, the UN Foundation, the Government of Denmark, the City of New York, the TckTckTck campaign and the Carbon Disclosure Project. HP is the Premier Sponsor and Swiss Re the Founding Sponsor of Climate Week NY°C, with additional support from HSBC. A full list of events taking place throughout New York City this week can be found at www.climateweeknyc.org.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: "This year in Copenhagen, we have an unprecedented opportunity to tackle the climate crisis. Support from all sectors of society is crucial if we are to halt runaway climate change, protect people and the planet, and chart a new course to green growth and sustainable prosperity for all. Climate Week NY°C is an inspiring example of collective action to meet the most fundamental challenge of our time -- climate change."

Tony Blair, Founder of the Breaking the Climate Deadlock Initiative, says: "With less than three months of negotiation left before world leaders meet to break the current deadlock around a new climate deal in Copenhagen, Climate Week NY°C is an important opportunity to advance crucial dialogue between citizens, business and political leaders. The world is already equipped with much of the clean technologies we need to get started on tackling the climate problem. What we need now is to act together to unlock a prosperous low carbon future which will provide for a green recovery and help create millions of new jobs."

Connie Hedegaard, Minister for Climate and Energy, Denmark - the host nation of COP15 - said: "Right now, we have a historic window of opportunity to bring the world on the right track. It is not an easy task, but if we have the political will, it is doable. Our common deadline is in Copenhagen this December. The longer we postpone action, the bigger the bill we pass on to our sons and daughters and grandchildren. All over the world people are expecting to see their leaders move from talk into action."

Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group, said: "Through Climate Week NY°C, we have united business, government and civil society to call for a fair, ambitious and binding global climate deal. At this critical moment in time, we must summon the collective will and urge our world leaders to secure a global deal in Copenhagen. In doing so, we will help safeguard our planet for future generations while helping to unlock the full potential of a clean, green, prosperous future."

President of the United Nations Foundation Timothy Wirth said: "Thanks to the Secretary-General's leadership, climate change this week will have the personal attention of the world's heads of state. This high-level engagement is essential if we are to get national commitments for immediate action and begin to transform the global energy economy."

TckTckTck campaign Chair Kumi Naidoo said: "We want the world's leaders to know that if they demonstrate strong leadership, we will support them. The world is ready for action on climate change. Today alone, as part of a Global Wake Up Call, more than 2,000 events in approximately 100 countries are taking place as citizens around the world demonstrate their support for a fair, ambitious and binding international climate change treaty".

Carbon Disclosure Project Co-founder and CEO, Paul Dickinson said: "The biggest democracy in the world involves how consumers spend their money every day, as they "vote" for the companies that work to solve the climate change problem. At Bank of America this morning, the Carbon Disclosure Project launched 2009 reports from over 1,800 of the world's largest companies. Business, investors and consumers are ready, willing and able to provide the solutions, but they need governments to seal the deal in Copenhagen. We are proud to be part of Climate Week NY°C."

"I'm honored to join the many government, business and civil society leaders who are calling for urgent action to address climate change," said Hugh Jackman. "I hope to be a voice for the billion people in developing countries who will be the hardest hit by changing weather patterns; by the droughts and floods that destroy their crops and threaten their food security. Climate Week NY°C provides an ideal forum to help underscore the urgency for world leaders to secure and fund an ambitious global climate change deal in Copenhagen that is effective, fair and binding."

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and information technology is one of the most powerful assets we can use to attack it," said Shane Robison, Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, HP. "At HP, we're not only using technology to address our own carbon footprint, but we're also applying IT to help our customers and partners achieve our shared goal of making a low-carbon economy a reality."

Swiss Re Americas CEO Pierre Ozendo said: "Swiss Re is proud to be the Founding Sponsor of Climate Week NY°C, which comes at a critical time leading up to the meeting in Copenhagen in December. This event is part of our commitment to finding practical solutions to assist society's adaptation to climate change and manage the risks it faces. It is critical that we work together to reduce society's current level of vulnerability to climate risk through adaptation and mitigation measures supported by a global agreement."

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