23 March 2009

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

"Please Send a Strong Message on Climate Change"

Message in support of "Earth Hour", 28 March 2009

VIENNA, 28 March (UN Information Service) - On 28 March, the world will observe Earth Hour. Millions of people, in hundreds of cities, will turn off their lights for an hour. Earth Hour is a way for the citizens of the world to send a clear message. They want action on climate change.

It promises to be the largest demonstration of public concern about climate change ever attempted. People will be telling their representatives to seal a deal in Copenhagen. A deal at the climate change talks that will protect people and the planet. We need an ambitious agreement. An agreement that is fair and effective. An agreement based on sound science.

We are on a dangerous path. Our planet is warming. We must change our ways. We need green growth that benefits all communities. We need sustainable energy for a more climate-friendly, prosperous world. This is the path of the future. We must walk it together.

Around the world, many famous landmarks will go dark during Earth Hour. In New York, we will switch out the lights at UN Headquarters. Other UN facilities around the world will also take part.

I urge citizens everywhere to join us. Please send a strong message on climate change. Together we can find a solution to this most serious of global challenges.

My friends, climate change and the economic crisis need bold action. Now.

The good news is that we can tackle both crises together. Our dependence on fossil fuels is warming our planet. It is causing dangerous global warming. We must switch to clean energy. We must make energy use more efficient.

These actions to combat climate change can also boost economic recovery. They can help to create jobs. And they can help to jump-start the global green economy. The challenges are great. But so too are the opportunities.

This year we have a unique chance. We can protect our planet and help to reverse the economic downturn. In December, governments will meet in Copenhagen to negotiate a new agreement on climate change. We need them to seal a deal that can set the world on a new path.

Industrialized nations must promise deep cuts in carbon emissions. Developing countries must act too. We must agree to share technologies that boost safe and clean energy. And we must help those in need to adapt to a changing climate.

All these goals will need fair and effective financing. All these goals will mean working together. This year, let us unite to combat climate change. Let us join together to seal a deal in Copenhagen. Let us use this unique opportunity to protect people and the planet. The United Nations is committed to this vision. But we need your support. Together, we can make a difference.

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