UN chief satisfied with climate change talks

sherieholder, sherieholder@nationnews.com

Added 09 December 2012

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DOHA, Qatar, Dec. 9, CMC – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the outcome of the UN Climate Change Conference here, saying the way has been paved to a comprehensive, legally binding agreement by 2015. The two-week meeting of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, wrapped up on Saturday, with delegates agreeing to extend the protocol, whose first commitment period expires at the end of this year, until 2020. Under the Protocol, 37 states – consisting of highly industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy – have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments, the UN said. “Doha successfully concluded the previous round of climate negotiations, paving the way to a comprehensive, legally binding agreement by 2015,” according to a  (statement issued by Ban's spokesperson. “The Secretary-General believes that far more needs to be done, and he calls on governments, along with businesses, civil society and citizens, to accelerate action on the ground so that the global temperature rise can be limited to 2 degrees Celsius,” it added. Recent UN-led reports have pointed to the urgency of keeping global average temperatures from rising beyond an internationally agreed level of 2 degrees Celsius, beyond which climate change would have serious impacts. Last week, Ban expressed hope for five key “deliverables” by governments here, beginning with the adoption of a “ratifiable” second commitment period of the protocol. He also expected progress on long-term climate finance, and ensuring that the institutions set up during previous conferences in Cancun and Durban to support mitigation and adaptation by developing countries – including the Green Climate Fund and the Climate Technology Centre and Network – are fully equipped and effective. Ban said he will increase his personal involvement in efforts “to raise ambition, scale-up climate financing, and engage world leaders as we now move towards the global agreement in 2015.”  

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