UN’s Ban says Kyoto Protocol extension only first step
UN leader Ban Ki-moon believes a new deal on fighting global warming is only a first step and that governments must do “far more” to stop rising temperatures, his spokesman said Saturday.
Ban welcomes the package of agreements made in Qatar’s capital Doha to combat climate change and extend the life of the Kyoto Protocol, which should lead the way to “a comprehensive, legally binding agreement by 2015,” said spokesman Martin Nesirky.
But the secretary general “believes that far more needs to be done and he calls on governments, along with businesses, civil society and citizens, to accelerate action on the ground so that the global temperature rise can be limited to two degrees Celsius.”
Ban “will increase his personal involvement in efforts to raise ambition, scale-up climate financing, and engage world leaders as we now move towards the global agreement in 2015,” Nesirky added.
The Kyoto Protocol — the only binding pact on curbing Earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions — expires on December 31 and the Doha deal was concluded Saturday after 12 days of tough talks with Russia opposed to extending the pact, diplomats said.
The Kyoto extension was approved with the 27-member European Union, Australia, Switzerland and eight other industrialized nations signing up for binding emissions cuts by 2020.
The talks, scheduled to have closed on Friday, ran a whole day into extra time, paralyzed as rich and poor nations faced off on issues including finance and compensation for climate damage.