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UNEP Executive Director Says Weather Events Underscore Need to “Climate-Proof” Vulnerable Economies

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) 2 September 2008: Reacting to Hurricane Gustav and recent

flooding in India, Achim Steiner, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive

Director and UN Under-Secretary-General, released a statement underscoring the

human and economic costs caused by weather events linked to climate change.

He

called for urgent action on climate change, saying “nothing less than firm, legally binding commitments to

significantly reduce pollution linked with the burning of fossil fuels will

suffice alongside increased funding to climate-proof vulnerable economies and

communities.”

Noting that climate scientists warn of increased hurricane

intensity linked to increased ocean surface temperatures, he reiterated his

call for decisive action to “match the magnitude of the challenges.” [Text

of Achim Steiner's statement]