During her trip to Washington D.C., Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, visited the United Nations Foundation. UN Foundation Vice President for Climate and Energy, Reid Detchon and Figueres held a media roundtable with some of D.C’s most prominent climate and energy reporters.

As the UN’s top official on climate change, Figueres spoke to the status of the UN’s climate change negotiations and her expectations for what can be achieved this year. She provided insight on the upcoming Rio+20 Conference and potential solutions on how to address the alarming issues of climate change and energy access. She referenced the huge importance of partnerships across all sectors, and the great potential the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and Sustainable Energy for All initiatives have for producing long-lasting benefits for a better world.

Christiana Figueres offered several key quotes, among them are:

    • “Addressing climate is not something that can be delegated or circumscribed to governments only. It is actually as we know; the most important challenge that humanity has ever faced and hence cannot be pursued only by government. Only a crowed-in solution is going to work to the scale and pace we need. Every government, sector and individual must take on its responsibility and begin to make the investments they need to take for a universal change. We can all become encouraged to get involved by the amount of action U.N. Secretary General Ban-Ki moon’s has taken with his Sustainable Energy for All initiative.”


    • “It is morally and completely unacceptable and irresponsible that today, in the year of 2012, 50% of us woman around the world cook on open fires. How can we allow that? Open fires are causing women to travel 3 to 5 hours every day to gather fire wood; causing deforestation because of the firewood gathering; causing pulmonary and eye sicknesses with women and children who spend most of their time in the home with the smoke and causing burned children because little babies crawl too close to the fire. It is morally and completely unacceptable.”


  • “The [Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves] is addressing climate change, it’s empowering women, it’s helping deforestation, it’s improving the health with women and children. I honestly can’t think of many specific issues that you can undertake to address climate change that doesn’t include all of these benefits.”

For a full recording of the discussion, visit UN Dispatch.