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UN Secretary-General Urges EU to Complete Energy and Climate Package, Addresses Financial and Climate Crises

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 22 October 2008: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has

addressed the climate and financial crises in a number of meetings and

statements in the past two days. He has sent letters to the heads of the EU

states, encouraging the EU to conclude its energy and climate package by the

end of 2008, in order to provide a positive signal to the international

community in its negotiations on emission reduction commitments for the

post-2012 period.

He also underscored that clean industry and investment offer

long-term profits and returns, offering an opportunity to simultaneously

address both the financial and climate change crises, and leaving no

justification for delaying action. In an address on 21 October 2008 at Harvard

University, Massachusetts, US, Secretary-General Ban highlighted five

challenges that concern global public goods and must be addressed by all

nations: ensuring global financial stability as an intentional first step

toward prosperity for all people; addressing climate change; advancing global

health; countering terrorism; and ensuring non-proliferation and disarmament.

On climate change, he emphasized the need to develop, by the end of next year,

an agreement on post-2012 emission reduction commitments that is “universally

acceptable, inclusive, balanced and ratifiable.”

He said the Poznan Climate

Change Conference in December 2008 needs to end with “a strong political signal

on strengthening financial and technology transfer mechanisms to help

developing countries with adaptation and mitigation” as well as “a shared

vision of what a new agreement will look like, including on the question of

institutional architecture, as well as a concrete work plan for 2009 that will

enable parties to engage in very serious negotiations without delay.”

The

Secretary-General has also announced that he will meet with five eminent

economists on 23 October 2008, to evaluate the impact of the global financial

crisis on UN efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and on climate

change. The economists are Joseph Stieglitz (Columbia University), Kenneth

Rogoff (Harvard University), Dani Rodrik (Harvard University), Nancy Birdsall

(Centre for Global Development), and Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia University). [Secretary-General's

Statement, Harvard University] [UN

News Release, Ban's Meeting with Economists] [UN

News Release, Ban's Message to EU Leaders]