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Secretary-General deeply concerned by conclusions of Fifth Assessment, IPCC report says

New York, 27 September 2013 -UN  Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was deeply concerned by the conclusions of the  Fifth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which was released in Stockhom today.

In a statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the report of the IPCC Fifth Assessment, the Secretary-General said the “report clearly demonstrates that human influence on the climate system is now evident in most regions of the globe and it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

“Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. The Secretary-General urges all countries to make every effort needed to reach a global legal climate agreement by 2015, and to take action swiftly in order to limit the effects of climate change.”

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The Expert and Government Review of WGI AR5 undergoes robust assessment, IPCC reports

(From the IPCC)–The Expert and Government Review of the WGI AR5 was held for an 8-week period ending on 30 November 2012. A total of 31,422 comments was submitted by 800 experts and 26 governments on the Second Order Draft of the Chapters and the First Order Draft of the Summary for Policymakers and Technical Summary. The author teams together with the Review Editors are now considering these comments and will meet at the Working Group I Fourth Lead Author Meeting on 13-19 January 2013 in Hobart, Tasmania, to respond to all the comments received during the Expert and Government Review.

The IPCC is committed to an open and transparent process that delivers a robust assessment. That is why IPCC reports go through multiple rounds of review and the Working Groups encourage reviews from as broad a range of experts as possible, based on a self-declaration of expertise. All comments submitted in the review period are considered by the authors in preparing the next draft and a response is made to every comment. After a report is finalized, all drafts submitted for formal review, the review comments, and the responses by authors to the comments are made available on the IPCC and Working Group websites along with the final report. These procedures were decided by the IPCC’s member governments.

The unauthorized and premature posting of the drafts of the WGI AR5, which are works in progress, may lead to confusion because the text will necessarily change in some respects once all the review comments have been addressed. It should also be noted that the cut-off date for peer-reviewed published literature to be included and assessed in the final draft lies in the future (15 March 2013). The text that has been posted is thus not the final report.

This is why the IPCC drafts are not made public before the final document is approved. These drafts were provided in confidence to reviewers and are not for distribution. It is regrettable that one out of many hundreds of reviewers broke the terms of the review and posted the drafts of the WGI AR5. Each page of the draft makes it clear that drafts are not to be cited, quoted or distributed and we would ask for this to continue to be respected.

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UN Chief Lays Out Climate Agreement Among His Top Agenda for 2013

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In his first meeting of the year with the United Nations membership, the Secretary-General said that next year, “I intend to invite the leaders of the world, both individually and collectively, to mobilize the necessary political determination to adopt a strong, complete and binding instrument on climate change by 2015.”

“This is no time for business as usual,” Ban underscored. “To shape the future we want, we will have to think and act innovatively and differently. We will have to throw off another brake on our common progress: the tyranny of the status quo.”

In December, a UN climate conference in Doha, Qatar, agreed to a new commitment period for the Kyoto protocol, a treaty that limits the greenhouse gas output of some developed countries, and affirmed a previous decision to adopt a new global climate pact by 2015.

Full video of the speech

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“Huge consequences” of climate change, Secretary-General’s remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations

rsz_sgYet greenhouse emissions are rising faster than ever. Despite the dire possibilities, he said. “Too many leaders seem content to ke

ep climate change at arm’s length, and in its policy silo. However, too few grasp the need to bring the threat to the centre of global security, economic and financial management.”

“It is time to move beyond spending enormous sums addressing the damage, and to make the investments that will repay themselves many times over,” he said, noting the potential of the renewable industry to do that and to spur the world economy, as proposed in his Sustainable Energy for All initiative.“

A global climate change agreement would give us the engine we need to advance us decisively on this path,” he stressed, welcoming US President Barack Obama’s “new resolve” to address climate change and give it high political priority. “We must limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees.  We are far from there, and even that is enough to cause dire consequences.  If we continue along the current path, we are close to a 6 degree increase”

Calling for government and business leaders to mobilize the political will for a global, legally binding climate change agreement by 2015, he said. “World leaders have pledged to reach an agreement, and we must hold them to that promise.”Urging world leaders to strengthen and utilize the United Nations in facing both urgent challenges and others facing the world, he warned, however, that “International machinery does not operate on its own. Hardware requires programmers.” And “We need national leaders who think globally. We need a stronger sense of collective responsibility. And we need the United States,” he said.

“Some countries are embracing the transition to a low-carbon, low-emissions future.  They are adding electrical capacity through renewable energy – and avoiding the need to build new coal power plants.  The renewable energy industry created 1.5 million new jobs last year.  The costs of wind power continue to fall.  With the right enabling public policies, close to 80 per cent of the world’s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century”

“This is not utopian, or science fiction; it is current fact”. “My Sustainable Energy for All initiative aims to support and expand such efforts. The green economy is an essential insurance policy – an investment in a safer future for all”.

“A global climate change agreement would give us the engine we need to advance us decisively on this path”“I welcome President Obama’s new resolve to address climate change and give it high political priority” he said. “I am reaching out to government and business leaders to mobilize the capital and the political will for a global, legally binding climate change agreement by 2015. World leaders have pledged to reach an agreement, and we must hold them to that promise”.

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Ban Ki-moon Urges Countries to Ratify New Kyoto Amendment

 

In a letter to world leaders, the Secretary-General congratulated governments for adopting the amendment and asked them to speedily adopt the measure.

“The decision of your Government is a critical step in the global effort
to tackle climate change,” he wrote. “I would encourage you to swiftly accept this important Amendment.

The Secretary-General added, “I remain deeply committed to supporting your Government and the international community in your efforts to address climate change.  I take this opportunity to once again urge you to accelerate climate action in your country and to scale-up global efforts to reach an ambitious climate agreement by 2015.

“It is through your leadership and close cooperation that we will ensure a sustainable, prosperous future for all.”

The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997. The Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005. Currently, the Protocol has 191 Parties, including the European Union.

The new Doha Amendment to establish a second commitment requires the ratification of three-quarters of the parties to the Protocol before it can enter into force.