UN chief satisfied with political commitment on climate change

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United Nations, Sep 25 (UNI) World leaders have shown enough political commitment necessary to achieve a breakthrough on climate change, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said wrapping up the largest-ever meeting of heads of State on the issue.

Titled 'The Future in our Hands: Addressing the Leadership Challenge of Climate Change', the event was convened by the UN chief to forge a coalition to accelerate a global response to climate change and build international momentum for a major summit to be held in Bali, Indonesia, in December.

Mr Ban described the event as ''a sea-change in the response to climate change'' and called it '' groundbreaking and historic''.

''Today, I heard a clear call from world leaders for a breakthrough on climate change in Bali,'' Mr Ban said, adding that he believed the political commitment to dealing with the problem was not lacking.

Calling for ''comprehensive and inclusive'' negotiations in Bali, he emphasised that a post-Kyoto agreement must be in force by the end of 2012.

''We have come a long way in building understanding and a new consensus this year. More remains to be done, but this event has sent a powerful political signal to the world, and to the Bali conference, that there is the will, and the determination, at the highest level, to break with the past and act decisively, '' the UN Secretary-General noted.

Four plenary sessions on the themes of adaptation, mitigation, technology and financing were held simultaneously at the event.

Summarising the adaptation session, Mr Ban said, '' Participants voiced solidarity with the most vulnerable nations, in particular, the so-called small island developing states and least developed countries, to the consequences of climate change. Such nations have contributed least to the state of the planet, and yet are most impacted by it.'' ''There is a broad recognition of the need to tackle the root causes of the problem and reverse its effects through decisive action,'' the Secretary-General noted, adding that the current level of effort would not suffice.

When many participants pointed out that technological solutions for pushing forward the goals of adaptation and mitigation already existed, Mr Ban remarked,''Effective policy frameworks and cooperation mechanisms can greatly accelerate the deployment of these solutions between and within the North and the South.'' He noted that global collaboration must be urgently increased to help developing countries to move towards low carbon and renewable energy, which could in turn spur economic growth.

Since fossil fuels would be the source of energy in the foreseeable future, energy efficiency must be improved and new technologies such as carbon capture and storage must be sought, he added.

Mr Ban said developing countries should be provided with resources for investment and for cultivating their ability to identify and implement the necessary policies to promote sustainable growth.

Referring to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as the only forum to devise solutions to the challenges posed by climate change, Mr Ban said, ''All other processes or initiatives should be compatible with the UNFCCC process and should feed into it, facilitating its successful conclusion.'' Regarding the upcoming Bali Summit, Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said, ''There is a public demand for concrete and bold action. Thus, we are looking forward to their principal outcome: a bold global decisions addressing climate change without significantly jeopardising development efforts.'' The meeting drew top officials from over 150 nations, including 80 heads of State or government.


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