During his time in office, Ban has always been attentive to sustainable development issues, and this September he is convening what is billed as “a different kind of Climate Summit” in New York. These sorts of promises have been made before, but these talks’ focus on national leaders and business – not just the environment ministers – offer a chance for discussion above and beyond the usual environmental silo, with a crucial emphasis on economic policy. There are concerns that these talks have been designed around those who hold economic power, with less developed countries and civil society feeling less empowered, but the hope is that they will lay crucial foundations for Paris 2015 and there is, as always, space for disruption of the programmed events.
Don’t expect Ban’s voice to be limited to September though, and keep an eye on whether he can provoke other global leaders to speak out more forcefully too. As the man himself says ‘change is in the air’.