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UN’s Ban Ki-moon: we must act on climate change now



The whole world must be engaged and take action to curb climate change now if we are to avoid crossing the agreed 2C warming limit, the secretary-general of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, has said during a speech in Lima, Peru.

The remarks have been made at the 20th Conference of Parties (COP) that is currently taking place in Lima. The event aims to make progress towards an international climate change agreement that is set to be finalised in Paris next year.

Ban said, “We know that by addressing manmade climate change, we can build more resilient, prosperous, and healthier societies. But we must act now.

“There is still a chance to stay within the internationally-agreed ceiling of a less than 2C global temperature rise. But the window of opportunity is narrowing fast. All counties must be part of the solution. All of society must be engaged. This is not a time for tinkering – it is a time for transformation.”

He noted that governments, finance, business and civil society leaders are all stepping up in “unprecedented ways” to combat climate change. However, he added, that despite this, he was “deeply concerned that our collective actions does not match our common responsibilities”.

For the delegates attending the conference Ban stated he had five requests – that in Lima a balanced and well-structured draft for an agreement was delivered, that tangible progress in solidifying the climate finance regime was made, that they prioritise providing adaption support, that decisions to stimulate and facilitate cooperation was made, and finally, that counties that have not yet done so, ratify the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol.

Ban concluded, “I call on each and every government to achieve and invest in this new climate agreement. I stand committed, and commit the United Nations system, to facilitate this.

“Starting here in this historic city of Lima, let us start to write a new history for our planet. Let us work together to shape and advance a meaningful, universal agreement to be finalised in Paris next year.”

The International Energy Agency’s executive director has also spoken at the Lima conference and called on policymakers to use the oil price slump to put a price on carbon and cut fossil fuel subsidies.

Photo: Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken via Flickr

Further reading:

Lima climate change talks suggest progress is being made

UN climate talks get underway in Lima

IEA: oil price slump ‘golden opportunity’ to put price on carbon

Denmark, Sweden and UK top Climate Change Performance Index

Air pollution deemed a ‘public health crisis’ by MPs


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