UN official says global climate change meeting should produce call for action

Yvo De Boer briefs the press on high-level event

22 September 2007 – Just two days before national leaders from across the world gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York for the largest-ever high-level meeting on the problem of climate change, a senior UN official today said the event should produce a strong call for action to address the problem.

Yvo De Boer, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said the upcoming gathering bringing together more than 80 heads of State and Government “is a sign of the growing consensus that the international community needs to act on climate change.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convened the high-level event with a view to increasing international momentum toward a planned intergovernmental meeting this December in Bali, Indonesia, where participants will work to determine future action on mitigation, adaptation, the global carbon market and financing responses to climate change for the period after the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol – the current global framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions – in 2012.

Mr. De Boer said today that the Bali conference must respond to the conclusions of the expert Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has predicted an increase in climate-change related impacts, such as changes in temperature and rainfall, increasing sea level and more frequent droughts, floods and other extreme weather events.

But the Bali meeting, he said, “cannot get to that point without the support of Heads of State and Government that will be gathering here on Monday.”

He voiced confidence that the Secretary-General’s initiative “will serve that purpose” and expressed hope that the meeting would produce “a clear call from heads of State and Government for real negotiations to begin in Bali in December with a view to completing them in 2009.”

The Secretary-General has said that a successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol must be ready for ratification three years before its expiration in 2012 to allow countries to make it law in time.

A breakthrough in Bali, said Mr. De Boer, “is absolutely essential.”

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