Thursday, December 9, 2010

Nature will not wait while we negotiate, says Ban Ki-moon

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, trying to revive long-stalled climate talks, told world environment ministers on Tuesday he is “deeply concerned” that many years of negotiations have proven largely fruitless.
“The pace of human-induced climate change is accelerating. We need results now, results that curb global greenhouse emissions,” Mr. Ban declared at the opening of high-level talks at the annual U.N. climate conference.
“I am deeply concerned that our efforts so far have been insufficient,” the U.N. chief told delegates.
“Nature will not wait while we negotiate,” he said. “Science warns that the window of opportunity to prevent uncontrolled climate change will soon close.”U.N. environment chief, Achim Steiner, reminded the conference that countries’ current, voluntary pledges to reduce emissions would, at best, offer the world limited protection against serious damage from shifts in climate.
Lives at 'high risk'
Another reminder came from the mountains of south Asia: In a new report, experts said people’s lives and livelihoods are at “high risk” as warming melts Himalayan glaciers, sending floods crashing down from overloaded mountain lakes and depriving farmers of steady water sources.Low-lying Pacific island states, in particular, are losing shoreline to rising seas, expanding from heat and the runoff of melting land ice. Following Mr. Ban to the podium, President Marcus Stephen of Nauru, one of those states, said the reality of climate change has been lost in scientific, economic and technical jargon.
“Without bold action, it will be left to our children to come up with the words to convey the tragedy of losing our homelands when it didn’t have to be this way,” he said.Despite such evidence of growing impacts, and scientists’ warnings that temperatures will rise sharply in this century, nations have made little progress over the past decade toward a new global pact on emissions cuts to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Republican rebound in Washington could delay action even further.Instead, environment ministers will focus on secondary tools for confronting global warming, laying the groundwork, for example, for a “green fund” of $100 billion a year by 2020.Financed by richer nations, the fund would support poorer nations in converting to cleaner energy sources and in adapting to a shifting climate that may damage people’s health, agriculture and economies in general.Negotiators also hope to agree on a mechanism giving poorer countries easier access to the patented green technology of advanced countries, and on pinning down more elements of a complex plan to compensate developing nations for protecting their climate-friendly forests.
Decisions ripe for adoption'
“Some important decisions are ripe for adoption, on protecting forests, on climate adaptation, technology and some elements of finance,” Mr. Ban told reporters.
He urged governments “to be flexible and to negotiate in a spirit of compromise and common sense for the good of all the peoples.”

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...