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Secretary-General welcomes climate deal struck by world’s richest nations

Secretary-General welcomes climate deal struck by world’s richest nations

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed today’s agreement by the “Group of Eight” leading industrialized nations to effectively tackle climate change, and to pursue related negotiations under United Nations auspices.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban “wholeheartedly welcomes that G8 leaders have agreed on a strong and early action to combat climate change.”

As they began their three-day summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States have agreed to seek “substantial” cuts in emissions in an effort to tackle climate change, according to media reports.

Earlier this week, in his message marking World Environment Day, Mr. Ban said that developed countries in particular can do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage energy efficiency.

“The acceptance by the leaders of their responsibility to act on emission reductions and eventual cuts is to be commended,” he said following today’s agreement.

The Secretary-General had placed great diplomatic efforts in getting the G8 leaders to acknowledge the central role of the UN and its Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as the forum for climate change negotiations, his spokesperson said.

Prior to arriving in Germany, he told a press conference in Madrid that the UN, as the only global forum, is uniquely positioned to forge a common approach to combating climate change.

Mr. Ban also welcomed the G8’s stated intention to conclude by 2009 negotiations on a replacement for the Convention’s Kyoto Protocol, which contains legally binding targets for reducing emissions through 2012.