UN chief urges faster response to global warming

Dec 04, 2012 by Karl Ritter
In this Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 photo, a man fills gasoline in plastic containers at a gas station in Doha, Qatar. The host of the current U.N. climate talks, Qatar, is among dozens of nations that keep gas prices low through subsidies that exceeded $500 billion globally last year. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)

(AP)—U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday urged governments to speed up talks to forge a joint response to global warming, describing it as an "existential challenge for the whole human race."

Ban addressed the opening of the high-level segment of annual U.N. , involving environment ministers and climate officials from nearly 200 countries. They're discussing future emissions reductions and climate aid to poor countries.

Pointing to the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy in North America and the Caribbean in late October, along with other this year, Ban said "abnormal" has become the new normal as the world warms, presenting a "crisis, a threat to us all, our economies, our security and the well-being of our children."

say it's difficult to link a single to global warming, but some say the damage caused by Sandy was made worse by the rise of sea level.

"No one is immune to climate change, rich or poor," Ban said. "It is an existential challenge for the whole human race." He warned, "the pace and scale of action are still not enough."

Ban said countries are "in a race against time" to reach their goal of keeping the temperature rise below a threshold of 2 degrees C (3.6 F), compared to preindustrial times, when fossil fuels were not being used on today's massive scale, fueling engines of all sizes.

Climate scientists have observed changes including melting and permafrost, and acid content of oceans, shifting with impacts on floods and droughts.

They say low-lying Pacific island states, in particular, are losing shoreline to rising seas, expanding from heat and the runoff of melting ice.

Ban noted that time is running out for governments to act, citing recent reports showing rising emissions of , which most scientists say are causing the . A small minority of climate scientists still reject that.

"Let us avoid all the skepticism. Let us prove wrong all these doubts on climate change," Ban said at a side event earlier Tuesday.

Governments represented at the Doha conference have started talks on crafting a new global climate treaty that would take effect in 2020. They are also discussing how to rein in greenhouse gas emissions before then, partly by extending the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty limiting the emissions of most industrialized countries that expires this year.

One of the most hotly debated issues in the talks that started last week has been the pledges by rich countries three years ago to deliver financing to help poor countries to switch to cleaner energy sources and adapt to climate change.

Developing countries complained of the lack of firm commitments on financing in Doha. On Tuesday, Britain on announced three initiatives totaling 133 million pounds over the next three years for climate-related projects in developing countries.

Explore further: US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

5 /5 (4 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

UN chief calls for urgent action on climate change

Sep 08, 2011

(AP) -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday that urgent action was needed on climate change, pointing to the famine in the Horn of Africa and devastating floods in northern Australia ...

UN climate boss: No support for tough climate deal

Nov 30, 2012

(AP)—The United Nations climate chief is urging people not to look solely to their governments to make tough decisions to slow global warming, and instead to consider their own role in solving the problem.

New Zealand: Forget Kyoto, write new climate deal

Dec 03, 2012

Highlighting a rift between the rich countries and emerging economies like China, New Zealand's climate minister staunchly defended his government's decision to drop out of the emissions pact for developed ...

UN chief to open ministers level at climate talks

Dec 06, 2011

(AP) -- An international treaty on climate change won't be enough to avert a dangerous rise in global temperatures, and countries need to voluntarily make deeper cuts in carbon emissions, the head of the ...

Fractious climate talks enter second week

Dec 03, 2012

Countries entered a second week of UN climate talks in Doha deeply divided on key issues even as fresh warnings were issued that rising greenhouse gas levels are putting our planet in peril.

UN climate scientist: Sandy no coincidence

Nov 27, 2012

(AP)—Though it's tricky to link a single weather event to climate change, Hurricane Sandy was "probably not a coincidence" but an example of the extreme weather events that are likely to strike the U.S. ...

Recommended for you

US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

Apr 18, 2014

The United States announced Friday a fresh delay on a final decision regarding a controversial Canada to US oil pipeline, saying more time was needed to carry out a review.

New research on Earth's carbon budget

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Results from a research project involving scientists from the Desert Research Institute have generated new findings surrounding some of the unknowns of changes in climate and the degree to which ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 04, 2012
Translation: Hurry up with the political and economic changes before it becomes too obvious that the whole concept of AGW is a political/scientific scam.
4.2 / 5 (5) Dec 04, 2012
American Tea Baggers like Claudius seem to have taken an oath to destroy their own nation.

I commend them on their efforts.
4 / 5 (4) Dec 05, 2012
Hurry up with the political and economic changes before it becomes too obvious that the whole concept of AGW is a political/scientific scam.

Hahaha. OMG I can't stop laughing. Hahaha. ROFL!
I wouldn't worry to much Vendi. I think Claudius is the same guy that got a Romney tattoo on his face! And now wants it off.

As a substitute, he could get a AAGW tat on his face. It stands for Anti-AGW. That would probably make him happy, being able to hang with the whatupBS crowd.

More news stories

China says massive area of its soil polluted

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...