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

The Star (Kenya) - - News - AGATHA NGOTHO IN MOROCCO @Agath­aN­gotho

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.

/REUTERS

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

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