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UN Secretary-General Travels to Marrakesh and Strasbourg

19 October 2010: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted climate change issues in statements recently delivered in Marrakesh, Morocco, at the World Policy Conference, and Strasbourg, France, at the European Parliament.On 18 October, at the World Policy Conference organized by the French Institute of International Relations, Ban stressed the need for global governance to address the threat of climate change. Recognizing that the Copenhagen Conference did not meet the expectations of all, he warned against underestimating "the important elements which world leaders have agreed on in the Copenhagen Accord." He added that "looking ahead, it is increasingly clear that the more we delay, the more we will pay — in competitiveness, resources, and most importantly human lives." He called for progress in Cancun, at the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 16), on issues where consensus exists, highlighting fast-start financing. He informed that he will submit to COP 16 the upcoming report of the High Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing on the options for how to generate US$100 billion dollars by 2020. Ban further stated we face the "50-50-50 challenge," which consists in reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at least by 50% by 2050, when the the world's population will grow by 50%.

On 19 October, Ban Ki-moon delivered a speech to the European Parliament, underlining that the UN and Europe are "natural partners." He focused on three global challenges, which he said must be addressed together, namely tackling extreme poverty around the world, confronting climate change, and building a world free of nuclear weapons. On climate change, he recommended caution when linking specific weather events to climate change, but recognized that "the message is clear" and delaying action would imply high costs in terms of competitiveness, resources and human lives. On the on-going negotiations, he called for capturing progress made in Copenhagen and for all parties to show "flexibility, solidarity, and muster the courage to compromise if needed." Stressing the importance of Europe's leadership, he stated that when the train has "hit the buffers" in the climate change talks, "Europe can be the locomotive, driving it forward." [Ban's Statement at the World Policy Conference] [Ban's Address to the European Parliament] [UN Press Release]