Washington: Five top UN officials have urged world leaders to “seal the deal” at Copenhagen in December on an ambitious new climate change pact aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
These officials on Tuesday signed the online petition, which will be presented to leaders at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gathering in Copenhagen, where negotiations are expected to wrap up on a successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol, whose first commitment period ends in 2012.
The officials are — Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organisation, Michel Jarraud, secretary- general of the World Meteorological Organisation, Kanayo F Nwanze, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Pascal Lamy, director reneral of the World Trade Organisation, and Francis Gurry, director general of the World Intellectual Property Organisation.
“Seal the Deal” campaign calls for binding targets to be set on cutting emissions by 2020 and help for vulnerable countries so they can adapt to the effects of climate change.
It also highlights the urgent need for a new deal that will spur ‘green´ growth, protect the planet and build a more sustainable and prosperous global economy that will benefit all countries and people.
UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon had last week said that the cuts in emissions proposed by the world’s largest economies are not deep enough. He said greater efforts must be exerted by governments if a meaningful agreement on climate change is to be reached in the Danish capital.
Although he welcomed the climate change commitments made by the leaders of those countries and other participants during the Major Economies Forum (MEF) meeting, Ban said these are not sufficient.
“The time for delays and half-measures is over. The personal leadership of every head of State or government is needed to seize this moment to protect people and the planet from one of the most serious challenges ever to confront humanity,” he said.
Even as G8 leaders have agreed to a long-term goal of reducing emissions by 2050, Ban argued that this target was not credible without “ambitious mid-term targets and baselines.”
With G8 countries responsible for over 80% of global emissions, “that is why they bear special responsibility for finding a solution to the political impasse. If they fail to act this year, they will have squandered a unique historical opportunity that may not come again. We stand at a historical crossroads. Business as usual is no longer viable,” Ban said.