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UN Secretary-General calls for more ambitious targets as G8 Summit ends



L’Aquila (Italy), 10 July 2009 – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the G8 agreement on a long term goal to reduce emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, but says it is still not enough to reach a fair, effective climate agreement in Copenhagen Summit in December.

Mr. Ban called for more ambitious mid term emissions targets in order to ensure that a climate deal can be sealed at the Copenhagen meeting.

He urged developed countries in particular to lead by example by making firm commitments to reduce their emissions by 2020 on the order of 25-40 per cent below 1990 levels.

Nevertheless, he acknowledged that developing countries had their part to play by undertaking national efforts to cut their emissions and devising appropriate solutions to climate change challenges.

“Developing countries need funding and technology assistance. Funding is also needed to assist vulnerable developing countries adapt to the harmful effects of climate change.” Mr. Ban said.

At a recent meeting held at the UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi, African Environment Ministers pegged the cost of climate change adaptation at between $1 billion and $50 billion per year.

In their final declaration on Friday, G8 leaders identified financing as one of the three main tools to address climate change challenges along with technological innovation and capacity building. The leaders also stressed the need to move to a low-carbon economy in order to achieve continued economic growth and sustainable development – a move advocated by UNEP through the Global Green New Deal initiative.

The emphasis on climate change was echoed by the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, which met in the margins of the G8 Summit and stated that “climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time”.

“As leaders of the world’s major economies, both developed and developing, we intend to respond vigorously to this challenge, being convinced that climate change poses a clear danger requiring an extraordinary global response, that the response should respect the priority of economic and social development of developing countries, that moving to a low-carbon economy is an opportunity to promote continued economic growth and sustainable development, that the need for and deployment of transformational clean energy technologies at lowest possible cost are urgent, and that the response must involve balanced attention to mitigation and adaptation,” the declaration says.

“We resolve to spare no effort to reach agreement in Copenhagen, with each other and with the other Parties, to further implementation of the Convention,” the Major Economies Forum added.


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