Limit global warmth to 1.5°C, says UN boss Ban
Backs climate change pact, says it should influence policies critical to protecting the planet for future generations
World leaders should not gamble with future generations, UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said during his last climate change meeting as UN boss.
In a press briefing, Ban said countries have strongly supported the Paris Agreement on climate change because they realise their own national interest is best secured by pursuing the common good.
This agreement is the beginning of renewed, transparent, enhanced globally ambitious action and support to address the challenges of climate change. It will ensure the achievement of the long-term goal of stabilising the global temperature increase to below 1.5 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial level.
He noted the need to get on a global emissions pathway that limits warm- ing to well below 2 degrees Celsius and as close to 1.5 as possible.
“Now we have to translate words into effective policies and actions. This is critical to protect our planet, safeguard the most vulnerable and drive shared prosperity,” Ban said.
His tenure will come to an end next month after a 10-year term.
The world stands to gain by acting now, he said during the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties in Bab Ighli, Marrakech, Morocco.
The outgoing UN boss urged developed countries to honour their commitment to mobilise climate finance of $100 billion by 2020 to help developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate vulnerability.
“I have spoken with nearly every world leader about climate change, including the newly-elect US President Donald Trump, and I am optimistic he will revisit his campaign rhetoric on climate change. I believe the more they understand, they more decisively they will act,” Ban said.
Today, more than 150 million people live on land that could be submerged or suffer chronic flooding within this century, possibly causing massive waves of migration and instability.
“The choices we make today and in the coming decades could lock in catastrophic climate impacts for thousands of years to come. I strongly urge all countries to increase the mitigation ambition of their national climate plans by 2018. I call for the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies to accelerate the transition to clean energy,” Ban said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta will address the conference.
In a statement, his press unit said he believes the rulebook to guide the implementation of the agreement should include equity and common but differentiated responsibilities.
Uhuru will also lobby for Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed to be elected chairperson of the African Union Commission.
UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon and King Mohammed VI of Morocco at the Royal Palace during the UN Climate Change Conference 2016 (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco, on Monday