Speech by His Majesty the King of the Belgians at the the opening of the international headquarters of the Global covenant of mayors for climate and energy
Thank you for your kinds words. And welcome to Belgium. It is good to see you here in Brussels together with your co-chair Mr. Šefčovič, vice-chair Mrs. Figueres and other board members and staff, for the opening of your international headquarters. We all know that you are a dedicated and successful proponent of the cause of sustainable development. Your recent appointment as special envoy of the UN secretary general for climate action, is the logic continuation of your longstanding commitment.
Dedication to a noble cause is what characterizes every one of you. Today we remember the terrorist attacks which occurred in this city two years ago. Through our efforts, through your efforts for a better world, we pay tribute to the victims and their relatives.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We live in fascinating times. On the one hand, the issue of climate change has become a real threat and a challenge for us all. It is a wake-up call to reconsider the way we produce, consume and work together. It touches us even in our consciousness, making us question the point of our existence. On the other hand, young people are ready to take up the challenge, recognizing it as a way to give sense. They make full use of the new information technologies to develop their creativity in order to make our world more humane and sustainable. Let ushelp them and encourage them.
I personally visit many projects set up by young social entrepreneurs, which shows how much civil society has mobilized to fight climate change and promote sustainable development. We are all challenged with the question “Why should I care ?”. So, it is wonderful that so many people realize that it is time to take action now, time to commit to helping people they will never meet, time to fight for a cause that exceeds the mere reciprocity of self-interest. It is fascinating, too, that a real revolution is taking place in the information and communication sector right now, providing people with the means to rise to the challenge of sustainability, and thereby to give new meaning to their lives and work. It turns a threat into a positive challenge for us all.
Mr. Bloomberg, Mr. Šefčovič,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Cities are, of course, a preeminent place for this to happen, a perfect starting point for new approaches and new models. Your actions are key to broadening and enhancing the world’s commitment to climate action and the sustainable development goals. I am convinced that your work at the very heart of Belgium and the European Union will help us realize our common ambitions. I wish you every success.