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Environment/Natural Resources

[Published: Friday July 10 2009]


Ban-Ki-moon says proposed climate change measures insufficient

New York, 10 July – (ANA) - The cuts in greenhouse gas emissions
proposed by the world’s largest economies are not deep enough, and much
more effort is needed if governments are to reach a meaningful
agreement on climate change by the end of the year, according to UN
secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. He noted that the climate change
commitments made by the leaders of the Group of Eight (G8)
industrialised nations and other participants in this week’s Major
Economies Forum (MEF) meeting in L’Aquila, Italy, “while welcome, are
not sufficient.”

“The time for delays and half-measures is over,” he said. “The personal
leadership of every head of State or government is needed to seize this
moment to protect people and the planet from one of the most serious
challenges ever to confront humanity.”

A long-term goal of reducing emissions by 2050 has been agreed this
week by G8 leaders, but Mr. Ban said that this target was not credible
without “ambitious mid-term targets, and baselines.

“In order to achieve such a global goal, developed countries must lead
by example in making firm commitments to reduce their emissions by 2020
on the order of the 25 to 40 per cent below 1990 levels that the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) tells us is required. =0
It is disappointing to note that thus far, the mid-term emissions
targets announced by developed countries in the MEF are not in this

Pointing out at the fact the countries represented in L’Aquila are
responsible for more than 80 per cent of global emissions, the
Secretary General stated “and that is why they bear special
responsibility for finding a solution to the political impasse. If they
fail to act this year, they will have squandered a unique historical
opportunity that may not come again… We stand at a historical
crossroads. Business as usual is no longer viable.”

A global summit on climate change is to take place in New York in
September, when world leaders converge for the annual opening of the
General Assembly. The meeting, convened by Mr. Ban, is supposed to
build momentum ahead of talks in Copenhagen in December that are
supposed to result in a far-reaching new pact on greenhouse gas

According the Secretary General, every country must play its part,
“based on the principle of equity.” Affluent countries can provide
funding and technological assistance to poorer States so they can
reduce or mitigate the impact of emissions, while those developing
countries can step up their own efforts to reduce emissions.
World leaders have also been urged to work harder to deal with other
pressing global challenges, especially food insecurity and the H1N1
 influenza pandemic.

The G8’s pledge to spend $15 billion over the next three years to
tackle food insecurity and improve agriculture has been welcomed by Mr.
Ban, but he noted however “now we need to deliver on that pledge, and
work together to boost national action plans, in an integrated manner.”

Turning to influenza, the Secretary-General said the pandemic was
“starting to
accelerate in a disturbing way” and G8 members therefore should commit
to at least $1 billion in additional spending to assist struggling
countries with overloaded health-care systems.

“We have a small window of opportunity to help poor countries access
what they need to get ready for the virus,” he said. (ANA)

SL/ANA/10 July 2009 ---

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