September 1, 2009

UN Chief Urges Swift Action On Climate Change

UN chief Ban Ki-moon began a tour of Norway on Tuesday in order to gain increased international support for an ambitious climate agreement at Copenhagen in December.

"I would like to draw the attention (of) the world, for urgent action to be taken at Copenhagen ... We do not have much time to lose," Ban said from a Norwegian coastguard vessel on Tuesday.

The former South Korean foreign minister traveled to a research site at Ny-Aalesund in the Arctic's Svalbard archipelago before world leaders will meet in Copenhagen to discuss a replacement to Kyoto Protocol, which will expire in 2012.

Ban said he hopes leaders will "agree a global deal that is comprehensive, equitable and balanced for the future of humanity and the future of planet Earth."

According to AFP, 10 countries have bases at Ny-Aalesund "“ Britain, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway and South Korea.

"One of the very important reasons for my coming to Norway is to see first-hand the dramatic changes to the Arctic and to learn what that means for mankind," Ban told reporters from Oslo on Monday.

"I will take all I have learned to the high-level summit meeting."

Ban said the remote Arctic archipelago might have no ice within the next 30 years if climate continues on its current course.

He vowed to push for comprehensive action for "the future of humanity."

Weather permitting, Ban is scheduled to visit the Norwegian research vessel Lance which is studying the Arctic ice off Svalbard.


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