(Guardian) – Ban Ki-moon urges environment ministers to reject attempts by sceptics to undermine negotiations by exaggerating shortcomings in Himalayan glaciers report
The UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, today urged environment ministers to reject attempts by sceptics to undermine efforts to forge a climate change deal, stressing that global warming poses “a clear and present danger.”
In a message read by a UN official, Ban referred to the controversy over mistakes made in a 2007 report issued by the UN-affiliated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which have been criticised by climate sceptics.
Despite the failure to forge a binding deal on curbing heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions at a UN conference in Copenhagen last December, Ban said the meeting made an important step forward by setting a target to keep global temperature from rising and establishing a program of climate aid to poorer nations.
“To maintain the momentum, I urge you to reject last-ditch attempts by climate sceptics to derail your negotiations by exaggerating shortcomings in the … report,” Ban said in the statement read at the start of an annual UN meeting of environmental officials from 130 countries on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
“Tell the world that you unanimously agree that climate change is a clear and present danger,” Ban said. A British poll yesterday showed public conviction about the threat of climate change has declined sharply in the last year.
The Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, said time was running out, but expressed confidence that a binding climate change deal could be forged at the next climate change summit later this year in Cancun, Mexico.
“I’m convinced that we’re still not too late,” he said at the Bali conference.
Indonesian foreign minister, Marty Natalegawa, said Indonesia will hold an informal meeting of all environmental ministers and officials from 130 countries Friday in Bali to discuss ways of ensuring that a binding treaty on greenhouse gas cutbacks could be forged in Cancun.
“No sealed deal happened in Copenhagen, so it’s now more urgent than ever for us to work diligently between now and Mexico,” Natalegawa told The Associated Press in an interview.
“It should have been urgent last year, but we didn’t live up to that urgency,” he said.