Former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday slammed President Donald Trump's threat to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on fighting climate change, saying he will consider writing to the president as the new chairman of an international green growth organization based in Seoul.
"I have been voicing very strong concerns on various occasions, particularly when he announced that he would withdraw from the Paris Agreement," he said in a press conference marking his inauguration as the chairman of the council of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in Seoul. He took on the position a month earlier.
"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 noted.
"Moreover, scientifically his vision is wrong," Ban said, adding 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 said.
In his new post as the leader of the small international organization with 28 member countries, Ban plans to help developing countries implement the U.N.-led agreement on fighting climate change, a vision he championed during his 10-year stint as the U.N. chief from 2006-2016.
"My vision is to contribute to strengthening GGGI's support to its member countries to help them achieve their nationally determined contributions (to fighting climate change) and U.N. Sustainable Development Goals," according to Ban.
"Small in size, but (the GGGI) is in line with what I did during the 10-year stint. It has the same vision and the same work," he also noted. "The official title as the chairman of the GGGI (council) makes it easier for me to promote what I have been doing."
The chairman also said he will tap into the human networks and experiences he had from the U.N. post in order to raise the profile of the Seoul-based organization, especially to expand its size.
"We need to have more member states, particularly those countries that would be in a position to render their financial and technological support for many developing countries. Otherwise, we would not have much capacity to mitigate and adapt to changing climate situations," he said.
"I also hope to have the opportunity to engage and work with Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and France that are not yet members of the GGGI."