Climate change has no respect for borders and affects all, says Ban Ki-moon

14 December 2007 – Global warming impacts everyone regardless of national borders, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, calling on negotiators at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, to overcome differences and agree on a road map to tackle the issue.

Climate change “doesn’t care if you are coming from developing or industrialized countries,” he told reporters during a visit to Timor-Leste, warning that poorer nations will be hit hardest by the phenomenon.

Acknowledging that some countries have concerns about a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Mr. Ban said that the time will come in the future to reach a consensus on that.

“But our goal at this time is to launch negotiations,” he said.

The Secretary-General stated that industrialized countries – especially the biggest emitters – should take the lead in addressing climate change.

“If we are not able to agree on this, I would say the negotiators will have to bear their historical responsibilities for the whole international community and the future of planet Earth.”

Mr. Ban has repeatedly stressed the importance of creating a road map to tackle climate change and a timeline to produce a new agreement on emissions targets by 2009 so that it can enter into force after the Kyoto Protocol, the current regime, expires in 2012.

He is scheduled to return to Bali tomorrow to assess the status of the negotiations.

Following that the Secretary-General will travel to Paris to participate in Monday’s Donor’s Conference for the Palestinian Territories.

That event will be co-hosted by France, Norway, the European Commission and Tony Blair, the Special Representative for the Middle East diplomatic Quartet, comprising the UN, the United States, the European Union and Russia.

Mr. Ban will also attend a dinner with representatives of the Quartet and the League of Arab States.

While in Paris, he is also expected to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The Secretary-General plans to return to New York next Tuesday.

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