September 3, 2009

Ban calls for action over climate change

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at a Swiss conference a global warming pact should be finalized in the face of ongoing climate change.

Appearing at the World Climate Conference in Geneva, Ban told assembled officials Thursday he witnessed firsthand the melting of glaciers due to climate change during a recent visit to the Arctic, a U.N. release reported.

It has been said that the Arctic is our barometer -- the canary in the coal mine. But it is much more than that. Changes in the Arctic are accelerating global climate change, the secretary-general said.

I witnessed the sober reality of change with my own eyes, Ban added. The Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else on Earth. It may be virtually ice-free by 2030.

Ban said to finalize an international pact aimed at battling global warming, officials should focus on certain key areas of action.

The U.N. official said those areas include adaptation to the impact of climate change, limiting the growth of emissions and help for developing countries as part of a new climate regime.