Ban: Our planet has a fever – and it is getting hotter every day

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10 December 2014 - “Science has not only spoken – it is shouting from the rooftops”, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today at the UN climate change conference in Lima (COP 20).

The conference, which opened on 1 December and wraps up this Friday, has brought together the 196 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is the parent treaty of the landmark 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

The goal is to hammer out the new universal treaty, which would enter force by 2020.

“This is not a time for tinkering – it is a time for transformation,” Ban urged, drawing attention to the link between addressing manmade climate change and building more resilient, prosperous, and healthier societies, which was highlighted in his synthesis report on the post-2015 development agenda. The UN Secretary-General also emphasized the need for stronger partnership between governments and the business community, civil society and philanthropic organizations.

“Investments in addressing climate change will propel gains in broader development goals. Conversely, investments made in development must be aligned with our climate aims,” he said.

President of the UN General Assembly, Sam Kutesa, echoed the Secretary-General's words, warning that the world was moving towards a “tipping point.” “Without immediate and concerted efforts, it will be impossible for the present and succeeding generations to achieve sustainable development,” he said.
In October, the European Union countries committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent from its 1990 levels by 2030. And in November, China and the United States, the world’s two largest economies and two largest emitters, responsible for 45 per cent of global emissions, announced a ground-breaking agreement in which both countries set emissions reduction goals.

“This is our only world.  We have a moral and political responsibility, now, here in Lima – a historical responsibility from Lima to Paris. Future generations should be able to leave our planet sustainable – environmentally, socially, and economically”, said Ban. “We need a meaningful, global agreement, and we need action now.”