Letter from Ban Ki-Moon | Lima to Paris and What’s At Stake

The goal of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is “the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”

The Convention, and the agreement that will be reached in Paris at COP21, are agreements between countries. But it will require all of society, including local and national governments, the private sector and civil society, to take the actions needed to reduce emissions and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.


75 large multi-stakeholder cooperative initiatives for climate action worldwide, covering key impact areas:

resilience (11 initiatives)
less polluting transportation (11)
renewable development (9)
increasing energy efficiency (8)
forest protection (6)
subnational local action (6)
business and innovation (7)
agriculture (5)
financial mobilisation (5)
climate friendly building (3)
short term pollutants (4)
Over 10,000 examples of participation (cumulative) in LPAA initiatives, involving states and non state actors from 180 countries.
6,914 individual climate commitments on NAZCA platform: 2,255 cities, 150 regions, 2,025 companies, and 424 investors. 
1 billion inhabitants: global population of cities and regions committed under NAZCA.
Hundreds of billions of USD redirected to climate: including portfolios of decarbonization, divestment from fossil fuels, and pro-climate investments.
25% of the world’s largest companies committing to address climate change.

A global climate agreement is essential. It will send a signal to citizens, markets and the private sector that investing in climate action is a smart and essential move. Many businesses already understand this message and are rapidly moving to reduce their emissions and to decarbonize their operations. Along the way, they are also realizing that taking climate action is good for their bottom line.

Last year, I hosted a Climate Summit in New York to promote the twin goals of raising ambition for a meaningful, universal agreement and to mobilize climate action by governments, business and civil society. The result was a host of new initiatives by coalitions of organizations and businesses that had not been particularly active in addressing climate change before.

At the Climate Summit, we heard pledges from the financial sector to decarbonize assets of more than US$200 billion, initiatives to build green energy grids in Africa, and the commitment of a Compact of Mayors to build more liveable, climate resilient cities. The New York Declaration on Forests – a pledge to reduce deforestation by half by 2020 and strive to end it by 2030 – was signed by representatives of business and civil society, and new initiatives were launched to reduce emissions and build climate resilience in agriculture and transport.

The pace of climate action is accelerating as more people, businesses, communities and governments are seeing and feeling the impacts of climate change. More people are recognizing that taking climate action is an opportunity to do things better – to renovate, rejuvenate and innovate as they move toward a low-carbon economy.

To maintain and accelerate the momentum, the Lima to Paris Action Agenda was established at the 2014 Lima Climate Conference. In Paris, many more commitments will be made through this framework, demonstrating to the world that the future lies in decisive climate action.

The climate action agenda will have impacts beyond climate change. It is integral to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals that were unanimously adopted by world leaders in September. Action on climate change will help us achieve these Goals, which will help us end poverty, build stronger economies and safer, healthier, and more liveable societies everywhere.

I count on governments, businesses and citizens everywhere to work for a low-carbon, sustainable future.

Ban Ki-Moon

Secretary-General of the United Nations