Ban Ki-Moon raises concern over
Trump’s climate change stand
By Athan Tashobya
Former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hopes that President Donald Trump will understand the ”gravity” of issues at stake and reverse his threat to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change.
He was Wednesday addresing his first press conference in his new capacity as the the president of the Assembly and Council of the Chair of Seoul-based Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).
Ban slammed President Donald Trump's threat to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement, saying he will consider writing to the president as the new chairman of an international green growth organisation based in Seoul, according to Korea Herald.
The Global Green Growth Institute is a treaty-based international, inter-governmental organisation headquartered in Seoul, Republic of Korea, dedicated to supporting and promoting strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in developing countries and emerging economies.
"I have been voicing very strong concerns on various occasions, particularly when he (Trump) announced that he would withdraw from the Paris Agreement. My message has been clear that this is politically shortsighted and economically irresponsible as the leader of the richest, most powerful and most responsible country in the world," Ban said.
Ban said, accordign to Korea Herald that, he will consider writing to Trump to advise him to change course.
"I sincerely hope that Trump will change and really understand the gravity, seriousness and the urgency of the situation in which we must take action now. Otherwise, we will have to regret for succeeding generations, humanity and our planet Earth," he added.
Ban also noted that during his two-year term as President of the GGGI Assembly, he will attract developing countries to join the the small international organisation with 28 member countries, conquently creating enough capacity to mitigate and adapt to changing climate situations.
“I hope to have the opportunity to engage and work with Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and France that are not yet Members of GGGI. I look forward to promoting GGGI’s effort in supporting countries to access the Green Climate Fund (GCF),” Ban said.
He noted that he is “fully committed” to help transform GGGI member countries towards a more sustainable and inclusive development path.
“My vision is to contribute to strengthening GGGI’s support to its Member countries to help them achieve their the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets,“ he added.
To implement the Paris Agreement, Ban says, countries must shift their economies towards environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive pathways – which is green growth.
“To demonstrate that green growth is possible and a pathway for NDC and SDG implementation, GGGI will continue to strengthen its partnerships with governments and other development partners. I am confident that GGGI can put the world on a more sustainable path by helping countries in their transition to greener economies and contributing to the implementation of the SDGs,” he noted.
Rwanda is one of the GGGI member states. In Rwanda, the Istitute provides technical support to the National Fund for Environment and Climate Change (FONERWA), and the development planning of six green secondary cities.
On the same day Ban was introduced to the diplomatic community in Seoul, among them was Emma Françoise Isumbingabo, Rwanda’s Abassador to Korea—who also spoke on behalf of her colleagues.
Amb. Isumbingabo commended GGGI’s partnership with Rwanda to foster Green Growth implementation anchored on development of green growth policies, bankable projects and resource mobilisation.
“GGGI is rendering a technical advisory support to the government of Rwanda to develop sustainable infrastructure in the areas of transport, capacity building to Secondary Cities Technicians on resilient urban planning, waste management, water, and other basic infrastructures. The aim is to create green jobs, ensure that future Rwandan cities are clean with less air pollution as well as emphasising the strengths in scaling up home-grown solutions to development,“ she added.
She also observed that there is a long way to go to achieve the level of sustianable welfare needed for the citizens, but with partners like GGGI, Isumbingabo says, “the path is clear we just need to give it a sense of urgency.“
Director General of GGGI Frank Rijsberman said that “With Mr. Ban’s leadership, I am confident that GGGI will be able to quickly expand its partnerships and memberships and mobilize greater results – championing green growth and climate resilience.”
2017 was an “excellent year“ for GGGI,accordign to Rijsberman, in which the organisation helped mobilise $524 million in green and climate finance to support developing countries achieve their greengrowth plans.
He expects more funds to help foster green gwoth agenda in member states.