UN’s Ban Ki-moon bats for compromise on climate change

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Sunday called on world leaders to step up their efforts to eliminate their differences in order to reach an agreement in Paris in late November on tackling the climate challenge for the global community.

“With two weeks left before the start of COP-21, it is urgent that all leaders work to find compromises,” Ban told a press conference in Antalya, a seaside resort city in southwest Turkey, referring to the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The annual gathering, which will start on Nov. 30 and go through Dec. 11 in Paris, aims to finalize a global agreement to climate change.

French Foreign Minister Lauren Fabius has announced that US President Barack Obama and other world leaders will still attend the summit despite the recent spat of terrorist attacks.

The event has been described as one of the most critical efforts to fight global warming, and perhaps the last chance to prevent its worst consequences from happening.

A total of 161 countries representing more than 90 percent of global emissions have now submitted their intended nationally determined contributions, according to the UN chief, who arrived here Saturday for the annual summit of the Group of 20 leading industrialized and emerging economies.


“These plans will bend the emissions curve downward, and move us in the right direction,” Ban told reporters hours before the G20 leaders start their roundtable discussions. “But they will not keep us under the dangerous 2-degree Celsius threshold. We have to go much further and faster,” he added.

Ban listed durability, flexibility, solidarity and credibility as the “four essential elements” for success in Paris.

Explaining durability, he said that the Paris summit “must send a clear signal to market that the low-carbon transformation of the global economy is inevitable and beneficial.”

The deal to be reached in Paris must also be able to accommodate changes in the global economy while striking balance between the leadership role of developed countries and the increasing responsibilities of developing countries, he said, referring to flexibility.

The deal must show solidarity by providing financing and technology transfer for developing countries, Ban said, adding that developed countries must keep their pledge to provide 100 billion US dollars a year by 2020 for both adaptation and mitigation.

To ensure its credibility, the deal must establish strong monitoring mechanisms, be able to respond to rapidly escalating climate impacts, and ensure the world is “on a path to a low carbon economy”, he emphasized.

Climate change is expected to be one of the topics for the G20 leaders as they start their round-tables Sunday afternoon, which will wrap up on Monday.

The UN chief also urged the G20 leaders to give a robust response to recent terrorist attacks which rocked Paris Friday night, and show solidarity in the face of the largest refugee crisis in decades.

“I will stress to world leaders that our response needs to be robust, but always within the rule of law and with respect for human rights. Otherwise, we will only fan the fire we are trying to put out,” he said.

As to the refugee crisis, he said, “I also count on G20 leaders for support as we address the biggest crisis of forced displacement since the Second World War.”

“This is not only a crisis of numbers; it is a crisis of global solidarity,” he added. (PNA)

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