Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Future of the planet is at stake –Ban Ki-moon

By Mubatsi Asinja Habati
As the UN climate talks in Durban entered the second week, Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general called on negotiators and their governments to save the world from the catastrophic impacts of climate change.  Ki-moon said there is enough scientific proof that climate change is real and affecting all world states. “The science is clear,” he said, “the World Meteorological Organization has reported that carbon emissions are at their highest in history and rising”
Several other organizations have sounded similar warnings. A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by half by 2050 – if world is to keep the rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees since pre-industrial times. The International Energy Agency says “we are nearing the “point of no return,” and we must pull back from the abyss.”

Ki-moon encouraged countries to make the second commitment to the Kyoto Protocol and open up the green climate fund to enable the most at risk nations to cope with the impact of climate change. He called on leaders at the Durban negotiations to look beyond their own borders saying fight on impacts of “climate change requires global solidarity. We want a sustainable future. We must keep up the momentum in Durban.” 

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After Ki-moon’s speech there appears a united voice for saving the only legally binding document regarding combating effects of climate change particularly reducing carbon emissions. The European Union joined the African Group to support renewed commitment to the second Kyoto Protocol ending the doubts that were building in the minds of many delegates on securing a better deal from Durban.
"If there's one thing that Europe has learnt, it is that targets and pricing work, this is why we need a global treaty" said Connie Hedegaard, EU commissioner for climate change. 

The UN secretary general emphasized that a breakthrough in Durban should be realistic and encouraged negotiators to keep up the momentum. “We know the reasons: grave economic troubles in many countries, abiding political differences, conflicting priorities and strategies for responding to climate change. It may be true, as many say: the ultimate goal of a comprehensive and binding climate change agreement may be beyond our reach – for now.  Yet none of these uncertainties should prevent us from making real progress here in Durban,” Ki-moon said, adding that:“Without exaggeration, we can say: the future of our planet is at stake. You are the people who can bring us from the edge. The world is looking to you for leadership.”

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